CHANDIGARH–April 22, 2008: The response to the chain fast observed by the teachers, students and employees of Panjab University since April 7, 2008 has been overwhelming so far, and with each day passing it is gaining momentum. Many women teachers and senior faculty have volunteered to sit on chain fast, and in the days to come deans and chairpersons of various departments and schools would join the protest to press forward the demand of elevating Panjab University into a Central University.Meanwhile efforts are on to persuade Centre as well as Punjab to convince the usefulness of granting Central University status to Panjab University. Brushing aside the propaganda of losing Chandigarh if PU is made Central University, PUTA President Prof. A.S. Ahluwalia clarified that Panjab University would continue to the serve region, and that there is no point in linking the future of Chandigarh with that of Panjab University. He questioned, “If Punjab government perceives no cultural or political threat to its provincial character on the arrival of Central University in Amritsar or Bhatinda, how come extending Central University status to PU would undermine Punjabiat in the region”. Prof Rajan Gaur, PUTA Vice-President, described Punjab Government’s attitude towards the issue as not only utterly unfortunate, but also myopic and vision-less. Panjab University Campus Students’ Council President Parminder Jaswal requested Punjab Government to accede to the demand of upgrading PU into a Central university; else students once they are free from exams would take the movement to streets. The students’ signature campaign is on the full swing, and very soon more than 7000 signatures would be collected and sent to Centre as well as Punjab to bring home the dire need of rescuing Panjab University from the impending financial crisis. Four women teachers Prof. Dhian Kaur and Prof. Smita Bhutani of the department of Geography, and Dr. Surbhi Goel and Meenu Gupta of the department of English sat on fast today. Two employees Shri Shiv Singh Negi and Karnail Singh of the Laboratory and Technical Staff Association PU joined them. More than 500 visitors signed the visitor’s book on the site of chain fast now running for the last 16 days, according to Manjit Singh, Secretary, PUTA.