Chandigarh: 2 June :The teachers and students of University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS) took the charge of the dharna site today on the 57th day of the chain fast for the central university status for Panjab University. Anil Kumar, Rajesh Yadav, Anupam Saini, Ranju Bansal and Renu Chadha were the five teachers of UIPS who sat on the fast for today. Prof S.K. Kulkarni, DUI also visited the site to give moral support to the colleagues from the department.
In the morning the entire faculty of UIPS came to the site of Dharna, including Prof. O.P. Katare, Chairperson, and Prof. B.S. Bhoop, Dean, Alumni Relations. Addressing the media Prof. O.P. Katare, Chairman UIPS, told that the department was originally founded in 1944 in Lahore and over the years it has grown as a premier center of pharmaceutical education and research in the country. Owing to its unmatched eminence and prestige, it is regarded as a front-runner in pharma discipline in the entire South East Asia. Of late, the Institute has been designated as the Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) by the UGC, the only pharmaceutical institution in the country to be elevated to this unrivaled prominence till date, said Prof. Katare. “Under the stewardship of Prof. Harkishan Singh and Prof K N Gaind, the Institute has made tremendous strides”, said Prof. B.S. Bhoop, Dean, Alumni Relations. However, the dearth of building space, state-of-the-art laboratories, infrastructure, basic equipment, and supporting staff are halting the further growth of the UIPS, and thus the urgent need to make P.U. a central university.
In the meanwhile a letter has been written to the Chief Minister of Punjab seeking an appointment for the delegation, consisting of teachers and students. JAC leadership has also met leaders of different left political parties in order to mobilize support for the central university status for PU. Though personally they feel that it is high time to ignore PU from recognizing it a central university, but the uncertainty takes over the moment the political dimension is confronted. When asked by the journalists that what is the solution, Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia, Chairman JAC suggested that ‘an all party meeting on the issue is one amicable alternative to the political uncertainty’. During a conversation with Prof. Manjit Singh, PUTA Secretary, Sh Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance reiterated his hope of achieving central status to P.U. “It is only a matter of time before P.U. is honoured with central status”, said Sh Bansal.