Chandigarh,27 Apr:Today three weeks are over of continuous chain fast by the teachers, students and employees demanding central university status for Panjab University. Those who sat on the fast today among the teachers were Prof. V.P. Upadhyaya, Department of Sanskrit, Dr. Manish Sharma, department of Gandhian Studies, Dr. Jaget Singh from the UIET, and among the students were Punit Pandit from Sanskrit and Nitin Sharma from the department of Gandhian Studies.During the past two months PUTA held a series of meetings across political-lines and a predominant view emerged is to convene an all party meeting at the initiative of the Chief Minister of Punjab or that of the Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha so that a common response to the offer of central university status to Panjab University from MHRD could be thrashed out. In a written communication today in order to dispel apprehensions, if any, PUTA, on behalf of Joint Action Committee, has made following suggestions to the Chief Minster of Punjab:
1. There would be no change in the present name of Panjab University, Chandigarh.
2. The representation of Punjab Government on the different administrative bodies of the University would be honoured.
3. The interests of Punjab in terms of educational rights of the students, affiliated colleges, including that of Punjabi language would be protected.
4. The entire financial liability of the Panjab University would be borne by the Union Government. However, if Punjab Government wants to continue with its present contribution of Rs. 16 crore (fixed) per annum, the Punjab government should be given assurance that the entire amount of Rs.16 crore would be spent on the Higher Education in Punjab.
5. Under the seventh schedule of the Constitution, like Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, and Delhi University, Panjab University should have been declared ‘institute of national importance’ long ago to protect and promote the heritage and culture of Punjab. It would be befitting to declare P.U. as ‘institute of national importance’ in the ongoing diamond jubilee year of its establishment, and let it be fully funded by the Centre.
Similar representation is also being dispatched to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. JAC has also drafted an open Appeal addressed to all the political parties to make their private stand public so that an amicable solution could be found to the ongoing agitation on the campus. An emergency meeting of PUTA executive was held today to review the entire scenario. Decision has been taken to call General Body Meeting tomorrow on the 28th April, 2008 at 12.30 PM in the auditorium of department of Evening Studies.