Chandigarh is in headlines every now and then these days for initiating something new in and around the city. Recently, the news of closing down Panjab University and converting it into a resort has given sleepless nights to many as the future of 2.5 lakh students will go on a toss.
Punjab and Haryana high court has observed that the University Grants Commission might soon ‘convert Panjab University into a resort’. The high court observed it on the basis of the UGC neglecting to release funds for Panjab university.
Reason behind PU close down
As published in Hindustan Times, the Punjab and Haryana High Court bench observed that Punjab and Chandigarh had never been on the agenda for the Centre. From the issue of Chandigarh airport to the college affiliation and now PU funds crisis, every issue was dealt with parameters than any other institution across the country. In fact, UGC has granted 15% additional over their 2015-16 funds to other institutes other than to the Panjab University in Chandigarh.
The HC bench asserted that let PU be closed as an institution and the students to be shifted to Punjabi University, Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar. The campus then can be converted into a resort.
Effects of fund crisis on PU
Alma mater to many renowned politicians, academicians and leaders, PU has filed a petition against the UGC for withholding the release of funds of Rs 30 crore inspite of the High Court’s order of January 19. It is also to be mentioned the PU is facing great financial crunch due to non-availbility of funds that it cannot give away salaries of the February month to the higher officials of the university on time.
According to the sources, Panjab University has always faced budget crunch but before 2014, it used to receive an ad hoc annual grant by the UGC’s plan budget other than its regular annual funding of Rs 170 crore.
Let’s keep our fingers’ crossed and wait to see what conclusion will come out of it as the HC has already reprimanded the UGC for not abiding by the court’s direction and has raised a question as to why it has not given away the salaries of UGC officials untill the release of university funds.
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