…Appeals to CM to intervene and salvage the star varsity out of financial crunch
Chandigarh, August 11
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab president and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday held the previous Badal government and the ruling Congress government responsible for the abysmal financial mess the Punjabi University, Patiala, was wrestling with, saying what could be more mortifying for the government in the saddle, which had failed to run its two prestigious universities, including the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar.
In a statement issued from party headquarters on Tuesday, Bhagwant Mann said the ruling government had no moral grounds to be in the august chair where school, college, university teachers and non-teaching staff were left to fend for themselves and stage protests for their legitimate demands.
Bhagwant Mann said the star Punjabi University, Patiala, was the second university after Hebrew University, Israel (1918), which was conceptualized and based on mother tongue, while the GNDU was established in 1969, on the occasion of 500th Parkash Purb of the first Sikh master Guru Nanak Dev. Mann lamented these temples of learning were left to suffer the way the Guru Nanak Thermal Plant was being eliminated, due to the non-professional and anti-people policies of the successive governments.
The AAP MP said that due to the lackadaisical stance of the subsequent governments ruling the state from time to time, and undue interference of the political masters in the varsity affairs, the unique temple learning had been smarting under debt of a whopping Rs 150 crore, saying the faculty and other staff there were not being paid their salaries, pensions and other perks on time for the past three/ four years.
Mann said the dearness allowance worth 17 crore announced by the government had been pending for years now, adding that the sanctioned grant-in-aid was not only insufficient but was not paid in full. The AAP leader, quoting insiders, said that the university was battling staff crunch as there had been no recruitment for faculty in various departments and that it was being run with the available guest faculty, adding some 300 colleges affiliated to it were also on the same page.
Bhagwant Mann urged chief minister Amarinder Singh, to intervene in the matter and immediately release the amount of Rs 350 crore demanded by the university to save this prestigious university by bailing it out of the financial mess.