Chandigarh,30 Apr: As a part of campaign for mobilizing political opinion in favour of ongoing agitation by teachers, students and employees for central university status for Panjab University, today a delegation of PUTA office bearers called on S. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Member Parliament and Secretary General SAD. The delegation explained him the urgency of declaring Panjab University an ‘institute of national importance’, under the 7th Schedule of the Constitutional provision, like Banars Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, and Delhi University. He was also suggested to call an all party meeting so that the opinion of all the political parties could be incorporated and apprehensions, if any, could be removed. He took our representation as a positive step towards protecting rights of Punjab and assured that he will talk to the Chief Minister Sardar Parkash Singh Badal on the issue. He also suggested the delegation to meet Sh Pawan Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance so that he too is taken along.
Meanwhile those who sat on the 24th day of the chain fast today were Dr Rajiv Lochan, department of History, Dr Sunita Kapila and Dr Richa Puri, both from the department of Botany, and Gagandeep Singh UIET among the teachers and L. Sitlhou, department of Public Admn represented students.
Dr Rajiv Lochan said that it is pity that Panjab University, a Five Star University, has been ignored while giving a push to higher education in India whereas even the four star universities such as Sagar University and Bhopal University from Madhya Pradesh have been elevated to Central University. If immediate steps are not taken to save P.U. from the financial crunch by making it fully funded by the Union Government, soon we will face exodus of teachers and students to the central universities coming next door. He also said that in case our voice is still not heard, we would go to the people outside the boundaries of P.U. and appeal them to write to the Prime Minister of India to save Panjab University. Eventually the campaign will also be extended to the affiliated colleges in Panjab. In fact, already the teachers from the Regional Centre of Panjab University at Muktsar have sent their representation to the Chief Minister of Punjab asking central university status for P.U.