1st day of 2 days bandh was marked successful in which around 1000 Unaided Educational Institutions of 22 districts of Punjab remained closed today. The bandh was called by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), Punjab. To mark the protest, Black Flags on the College buildings and Banners on the gates were also hanged.Unaided Colleges are on warpath due to the non payment of around 480 Crore by the State Government meant for SC-OBC students under the Post Matric Scholarship.Dr. Anshu Kataria, Spokesman, Joint Action Committee (JAC) said that JAC would submit a memorandum to all the Cabinet Ministers of their respective districts. While describing the pity situation of the Colleges of Punjab, Kataria added that around 2.85 Lakhs in 2014-15, 3 lakh students in 2015-16 and equal number in year 2016-17 have been enrolled under PMS scheme in various Technical, Degree, B.Ed, ETT, Nursing, Ayurvedic etc Colleges in Punjab.But due to the non payment of scholarship funds by the Government since last 2 years the Unaided Colleges are under huge financial crunch.
Dr. J.S Dhaliwal, President, PUTIA said that earlier to this 7th October has been observed as the black day for education in Punjab and now Colleges would be kept closed for 2 days i.e for 21-22nd October. “The next meeting of JAC would be called in the 1st week of November to decide the next action plan if the full amount wouldn’t be released soon” Dhaliwal added.Sh. Rajinder Dhanoa, Gen. Secretary, Association of Polytechnic Colleges of Punjab said that many states, including Himachal Pradesh, Bihar etc. reimburse the scholarship to the OBC students. Dhanoa questioned when centre Govt. has a policy to pay the scholarship for the OBC students then why it is not there in Punjab?Sh. Jagjit Singh, President, Federation of Self-Financed B.Ed college of Punjab said that now Government is saying that Govt. will reimburse the scholarship at par the lowest fee structure of Govt. Colleges, which is clearly the violation of the central scheme. The Scheme states that the colleges will be reimbursed the paid seat fee, if such fee is decided by the state Govt. So all the unaided colleges shall be reimbursed the paid seat fee to all such colleges where there is a difference of fee in Govt. and private colleges.
S. Gurmeet Singh Dhaliwal, Chairman, Academic Advisory Forum, Punjabi University said that the educational institutes should be made tax free. Because by providing the education these institutes are serving the Govt. duty. This is a social cause but there are many taxes and other charges being charged from the institutions like stamp duties, CLU Charges, EDC, Transport taxes, VAT, Building access etc. The rate of power is also very high for institutions as compared to industry. Hence there should be a different category for institutions for power tariff.Mr. Charanjit Walia, President, Nursing Colleges Association; Sh. Amarjeet Walia, Ayurvedic Association; Dr. Vikram Sharma, Dental Association; S. Nirmal Singh, ETT Federation; Jasnik Singh Kakkar, B.Ed Association (Panjab University); Satwinder Singh Sandhu, B.Ed Association (GNDU); Shimanshu Gupta, Private ITI Association; Sukhmander Singh Chatha, President, Punjab Unaided Degree Colleges, Association are also the members of Joint Action Committee.