Punjab’s u-turn on central status to Panjab university

September 1st, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Sep 1 (IANS) The Punjab government Monday withdrew its approval for Panjab University to get central university status, six days after the order was passed.An official spokesman said taking “cognizance of misgivings in a section of the intelligentsia regarding the grant of central university status to Panjab University, Chandigarh, the government has decided to withdraw the clearance earlier given to the union government for this purpose”.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, withdrawing the earlier clearance. A similar communication was sent to union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Arjun Singh.

“The chief minister is fully committed to the improvement of educational standards at all levels in the state and would continue his efforts in this direction. The Punjab government’s proposal for having two central universities in the state, including a world-class university at Amritsar, would also continue to be pursued with the Government of India,” the spokesman added.

The Punjab government had written to the central government granting its clearance for central university status to the university Aug 26.

The turnaround by the Punjab government is likely to upset academicians and authorities in the PU who have been seeking central university status for the last one year.

The PU is the alma mater of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and it is here that he started his career and went on to become a full professor at the young age of 32 years.

The university presently enjoys a unique academic status, neither being a central nor a state university. It is located in the union territory of Chandigarh and gets 60 percent grants from the central government and 40 percent from the Punjab government.

The Punjab government, in recent years, froze its grants to the university and has failed to give its 40 percent share. This has resulted in the university facing a financial crunch.

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