Dr Karan Singh Vinayak, Chandigarh : PU needs serious structural reforms to upgrade it’s infrastructure, better facilities and much strong Academic-imdustrial interface. It has again lagged behind from its last rank in the recent Times Higher Education (THE), Asia rankings. Meanwhile, The issue of central status for PU has again gained attention due to the demand by a section of stake holders as University has lagged behind in extending many benefits to teachers such as the grant of new pay scales and increasing the retirement age up-to 65. An observation by the Hon. High court in which it has asked the Central government to consider granting central status for PU as it in-principle fulfills all the conditions for it has again attracted many critical view-points. Interestingly, central government has always in past extended consent for the central status, but Punjab government has always opposed the same.
UGC 7th pay commission has been implemented all across the nation except Punjab. Due to this the PU teachers could not be granted the benefits of new pay scales which have been granted in all the central Universities and other states from 1st Jan 2016. The latest decision by M.H.A. to implement central rules in U.T. Chandigarh, brought cheers and relief for the city colleges as they were protesting rigorously against previous Punjab government for the non-implementation of new pay scales and against the decision of UGC-delinking. Interestingly Punjab is the only state in whole country which has delinked UGC scales for teachers which may result in reduced grants and also put a question mark on their validity. However, the PU remained aloof of this development. Now it is evident that all educational institutes in Chandigarh will directly follow the UGC, AICTE regulations and central service rules. With the implementation of central service rules all the government and government aided colleges in Chandigarh will get the benefits such as new pay scales and retirement age of 65, LTC, 2 year child care leave etc.
Presently, PU is much viewed as an autonomous inter-state body which is governed by senate and syndicate. The central varsity status for PU will solve many of its problems such as increasing financial burden, enhanced funds and exposure with effective decision making capacity. Central status will bring much more transparency, able administration, lesser political interference and confusion with regard to regulations with more benefits for teachers and students. In such a scenario, the private aided colleges affiliated to PU will also be benefitted as they may get the status for constituent colleges alike other UTs such as Delhi.