Punjab Unaided Colleges Association (PUCA) urged that Government should understand and try to solve the problems faced by unaided colleges of Punjab. More than 50% seats in unaided colleges are vacant while on the other hand due to the non payment of scholarship funds meant for SC/ST/OBC students, Colleges are under huge financial crunch. Many of the Unaided Colleges are on the verge of closure.To add further fuel in the fire, Government Universities has asked Private Colleges/Polytechnics to pay Admission Processing fees (Counseling fees ) for SC/ST/OBC students without which they would not enroll the students under 2016-17 batch.A meeting of PUCA under the leadership of President, Dr. Anshu Kataria was recently held which was attended by various other associations including “Association of Polytechnic Colleges of Punjab”, “Federation of Self-Financed B.Ed college of Punjab”, “Punjab Degree Colleges Association” etc.
Dr. Anshu Kataria, President, PUCA while speaking said under Post Matric Scholarship scheme, over 35 crore against tuition fees and 90 crore under Maintenance allowance is pending for 2014-15 while against the 535 crore due of 2015-16, Centre has released 173 crore but Punjab Govt has not released to the colleges. For 2016-17, admissions are almost about to close and a huge amount is outstanding towards Government. Thus the future of around 3 lacs SC/ST/OBC students is at stake in the State.Kataria said that the worst part of the sorry state of the education in Punjab is that on the one hand the state government has not paid the scholarship amount under PMS, on the other hand both the Technical Universities and Board i.e IKG-PTU, Jalandhar and MRS-PTU, Bathinda and PSBTE-IT are forcing colleges/Polytechnics to pay registration fees and examination fees to the Universities."When students have not paid their fees and state government has not reimbursed scholarship amount how a college can pay registration/examination and other charges to the state University from its own pocket?" Kataria added.
Finance Secretary Manmohan Garg while speaking on the occasion said that in the last assembly, Government itself has admitted that era of technical education in Punjab has observed a major downfall due to which 60-70% seats are lying vacant. “Then why Government is not coming forward to rescue dying educational sector of Punjab” added Garg.
Garg further added that Government has already delayed the release of scholarship funds meant for SC/ST/OBC students and despite of releasing the pending amount Universities are asking unaided colleges to pay fee for these students from their own pocket.Sh. Rajinder Dhanoa, President, Association of Polytechnic Colleges of Punjab said, “as per the new notifications if the student leaves the course midway the colleges will have to refund the disbursed amount back to the Government. Why Colleges are being penalized if students leaves the course?” He questioned.Sh. Jagjit Singh, Federation of Self-Financed B.Ed college of Punjab, Sh. Amit Sharma, senior Vice president; Ashok Garg Treasurer; CA Renu Arora, Joint Secretary; Cherry Goyal, Malwa-I Coordinator; Monty Garg, Malwa-II Coordinator; Mr. Sanjeev Chopra, Doaba Coordinator; Mr. Ranbir Dhindsa, Coordinator, Association of Polytechnic Colleges, Punjab etc were also present in the meeting.