CHANDIGARH,10 MAY:The chain fast by teachers and students of Panjab University for the central university status for P.U. completed 34 days today. Prof. Shankarji Jha, Department of Sanskrit, Dr Rajesh Kumar, Department of Women Studies, Dr A.N Sinha, department of Botany, were joined by Sh Promod Sharma of Yuvsatta, an NGO, and Sh Sudhyan Negi a research scholar from the department of Sociology for the ongoing chain fast.
While Punjab Government is busy in Panchayat elections people on the campus are becoming restive. In the meanwhile today PUTA delegation met Sh Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance and explained him how the union government, on the hand is keen on implementing 27 per cent OBC quota in P.U., on the other is not giving central university status which is a pre-requisite for the implementation of OBC quota. As a part of social accountability, however, Panjab University has already taken a decision to implement 7 per cent OBC quota from the forthcoming academic session for which P.U. is going to place the added requirement of infra-structure as also the faculty and staff before the Committee for the XI Plan visiting the University on 15-16 May, 2008. Earlier addressing the Inaugural session of a seminar on the campus, in the presence of Sh Pawan Kumar Bansal, Prof. R.C. Sobti, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University had already raised the issue of fully funding for P.U. by the Union Government as the Registrar has received a letter from the MHRD to implement 27 per cent reservation on the campus. He also expressed his anguish that there are universities in India where unutilized money is stacked while the P.U. is being allowed to suffer for want of requisite funds. It is worth reiterating here that the letter of implementation of OBC quota has been issued to all the central and centrally funded institutes and universities by the MHRD.
Sh Bansal told the PUTA delegation that he was not aware of such a development on the campus. The OBC quota letter certainly has given legitimacy to the demand for declaring P.U. an institute of national importance. Sh Bansal assured that he would talk to the appropriate quarters at Delhi on this new development. Sh Promod Sharma, Director, Yuvsatta, a staunch Gandhian, while expressing his solidarity with the agitating teachers and students said that it is sad that teachers and students of a prestigious university has to sit on chain fast for months before their voice is heard of in the world’s largest democracy of India. He also said that academics should be kept aloof from politicking and should not be allowed to become prey of egoistic politics.