Chandigarh, July 17, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged President Ram Nath Kovind to withdraw the report submitted by the Chancellor’s High Level Committee on Governance Reforms in association with the Panjab University besides ensuring the territorial jurisdiction of the University was not curtailed in any manner.
He also urged that the Governor of Punjab be restored as ex-officio Chancellor of Panjab University besides calling for the ouster of vice chancellor Dr Raj Kumar.
In a letter to the President, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal urged him to personally intervene and assuage the sentiment of Punjabis worldwide which had been wounded by the attempted brazen cultural and administrative invasion and takeover of the Panjab University. He said Punjabis were deeply disturbed by conspiracies to submerge their culture into a nameless set of ideas, values and cultural ethos quite alien to this region and its proud people in the garb of Governance Reforms.
The SAD President said as per the will and vision of the founders of the University, this institution was created for the people of Punjab to preserve and promote their academic, intellectual and cultural heritage.
He said however at the time of reorganization of the State the University was classified as an “inter-state body corporate” and the term “government” in the Act was changed from the “government of Punjab” to “government of India” effectively taking away the institution from the State. “Subsequently another amendment was affected to make the Vice President the Chancellor of the varsity instead of the Punjab Governor”.
Briefing the President about the latest blow to the University, Mr Sukhbir Badal said in November 2020, the University Grants Commission (UGC) sought suggestions on governance reforms in line with the New Education Policy of that year.
He said Vice President Dr.M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was the ex-officio Chancellor of Panjab University, formed an 11-member High Level Committee (HLC) in February 2020 without nominating a single member from its Senate or Syndicate.
He said the Committee recommended drastic reduction in the territorial jurisdiction of the University disaffiliating over 200 colleges in Punjab besides calling for abolition of the Registered Graduates elected Constituency and its replacement with four members to be nominated by the VC. “This constituency originally sent eight people from Punjab alone out of the total 15. This symbolizes the total elimination of Punjabis from the running of the University”.
Mr Badal said the Committee recommendations also made it clear that now all powers would rest not with the elected representatives of the alumni but with an autocratic Vice Chancellor. “This elimination of Punjabis from the university is sealed with the third recommendation by HLC which says that the Syndicate shall have only ex-officio and nominated members instead of elected representatives”.
He said the recommendations constituted a painful distrust of the people of Punjab through their elected members. “It also amounts to humiliating their voice and pushing them out of the national mainstream”.
Mr Badal said Punjabis were further saddened that both centrist parties, the Congress and the BJP, were hands in glove over such anti-Punjab and anti-federal and therefore anti-national moves. “It comes as no surprise that the Congress government in Punjab has maintained an eerie silence on this issue. In their case, silence is consent”.
The SAD President also urged the President to give a personal audience to the alumni of Panjab University in this regard while asserting that the SAD would wage a relentless fight to preserve and promote Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiyat and considered no price too high for the achievement of this noble objective.