Today, the Higher Education and Languages Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer presented a resolution opposing the Union Government's attempt to change the character of the Panjab University, Chandigarh which was passed by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and now it would be sent for taking up with the Union Government.
Speaking on the resolution, Higher Education Minister Meet Hayer said that Panjab University is our heritage and it is a matter of identity for us, Punjabis. State government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is firmly committed to safeguard the rights of Punjab. Alongwith Panjab University, Punjab has full rights on Punjabi speaking areas and waters.
Resolution tables by the Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer in the Vidhan Sabha:-
This House is concerned about the attempt being made by some vested interests to push the matter for change of status of Panjab University into a Central University on one pretext or the other.The House acknowledges and recognizes that the Punjab University was re-commenced with an Act of the Punjab State namely the Panjab University Act 1947 after independence, and subsequently with the reorganization of the State of Punjab in 1966, it was declared as an Inter-State Body Corporate under Section 72(1) of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 enacted by the Parliament.
Since its inception, the Panjab University has been continuously and uninterruptedly functioning in the State of Punjab. It was shifted from Lahore, the then capital of Punjab, to Hoshiarpur and then to Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab. More than 175 colleges of Punjab, which are situated in the districts of Fazilka, Ferozpur, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib and S.B.S Nagar, are affiliated with the Panjab University at present.
The entire territorial jurisdiction and the populace, which the Panjab University is catering to, falls majorly in the state of Punjab, in addition to the area under Union Territory of Chandigarh, which despite many resolutions of this august house has not been restored as the capital of Punjab state only and continues to be a Union Territory.
Historically, the people of Punjab have been very intimately associated and have identified themselves with this university right from its inception. The Panjab University occupies an emotional place in the minds of Punjabis on account of historical, regional and cultural reasons.
The University has emerged as an educational and cultural symbol of Punjab's legacy and inheritance to the extent that it has almost become synonymous with the State of Punjab, Despite the fact that the States of Haryana and Himachal stopped contributing their share of the maintenance deficit grants to the University, the State of Punjab has increased its share from 20 percent to 40 percent and has continuously been paying it since 1976.
The Government of Haryana unilaterally withdrew the affiliation of its colleges from the University and transferred the same to the other Universities within Haryana State, which has reduced the revenue of the university. The Government of India vide its notification dated 27-10-1997 ceased the representation of Haryana in various governing bodies of the University.
This House has observed that the University has been managing and conducting its financial affairs unilaterally. The State of Punjab has however increased the Grant-in-Aid from Rs. 20 crores to Rs. 45.30 crores during the financial year 2020-21, which amounts to an increase of more than 75 %. Besides, nearly Rs 100 crore is collected annually by the University from the affiliated Colleges located in Punjab.
This substantial increase may not be commensurate with the needs of the Panjab University, but this is due to the reason that there is no bilateral consultative process in place.This House strongly and unanimously feels that any decision to change the character of the Panjab University won't be acceptable to the people of Punjab and therefore, strongly recommends that no change in the nature and character of this University should be considered by the Government of India.
Any proposal in case it is being considered should be dropped with immediate effect.Therefore, this House strongly recommends to the State Government to take up the matter with the Central Government so as not to alter the nature and character of the Panjab University in any way keeping in view the sentiments of the people of Punjab."