Letter to VC from PUTA
Respected Vice Chancellor,
PUTA leadership has been expressing its reservations on the proposed Science City project inside the premises of PU for the last so many months. Both PUTA executive and PUTA General Body had passed resolutions against the coming up of this City inside the Campus. Even PUTA president raised questions about this City in the Senate. But it seems that without taking the community in confidence, you want to impose this project on PU. PUTA leadership takes exception to the fact that its resolutions on the said project are being soft-pedalled or ignored.
PUTA president had demanded details of this Science City, instead of informing the leadership and the community about the logistics, economics and rationale of having this City on the campus, you have been making announcements of all kinds. In the recently concluded, Alumni Meet, you went on declaring that soon the University shall have a Science City.
We know that Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal ji has promised some financial help, but is that all we need to take up a project of such a magnitude? The project would consume a major chunk of the land, and since we have already so many projects in the pipeline, we shall be virtually left with no space for future expansion. We apprehend this City would become another tourist destination, causing crowds in the Campus. No doubt, Chandigarh as a hub of education should have a City and a Planetarium, but it should not be within the precincts of PU campus. We have learnt that Chandigarh administration has expressed its inability to part with more than 7 acres of land for such a project.
Do we have surplus land to house such a project inside the campus? Need we remind you that the University is destination of higher learning and research, and its limited resources – financial as well as human, should not be diverted to cater to school-children? While it is true that such a City would generate interest among children and would provide them some kind of window to the world of science, it is also a fact that the University has its precise mandate of imparting higher education and conducting research. Ideally and logically too, this project should be owned by the Chandigarh administration. The popularization of science or the idea of imparting scientific temper to young generation is best realized if it is taken up at school-level.
Have we now decided to go to school-level? Tomorrow in the name of imparting ‘cultural values’ among youth, someone might come with project of opening a ‘cultural village’ on the campus. Would we honour that too? Let us not jump to projects, even if they are semi-funded by different agencies, which strain our resources and thus distract us from our main task of conducting research. PUTA would strongly oppose the proposed Science City until the University authorities explain the rationale and urgency of having such a project on the Campus. PUTA would also like to know whether PU authorities have done any feasibility study of this project. If yes, a copy of the study report should be provided to us.
Regards and thanks