Four years since its inception, Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University (SGGSWU) is yet to be recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Due to the tussle between vice-chancellor Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar, who is also the university chancellor, the SGGSWU failed to send a request to the UGC for recognition during the first three years (the SGPC-run university was set up in 2008).
The Fatehgarh Sahib-based university is running BTech and MTech courses, apart from social sciences and MBA degree courses. Permission from the UGC or the All India Council of Technical Education is mandatory to run these courses.
"The tug-of-war between Makkar and Ahluwalia had started even before the institute took shape. Both kept tarnishing each other's image and did not submit documents to the UGC. It was in January 2012, when Ahluwalia was on medical leave (after being shot at) that then acting vice-chancellor Gurnek Singh and registrar Prithpal Singh sent the application to the UGC, which is yet to take a decision," a source said.
Both remained busy with accommodating their protégés or 'monitoring' the construction work to the tune of more than Rs 50 crore, sources said. Acting vice-chancellor Prithpal Singh, who assumed charged after Ahluwalia's suspension, said he had decided to expedite the procedure.
"We will provide supplementary information desired by the UGC and urge them to send a team of experts as early as possible so that the university gets recognition without further delay," he said, adding that a university team would meet UGC officials in New Delhi on Monday. He said AICTE recognition was not required as the UGC team included an AICTE member.
When contacted, Avtar Singh Makkar said, "Ahluwalia failed to put up the case in time with the SGPC, which shows mismanagement on his part. It was on my intervention that then acting vice-chancellor Gurnek Singh filed the application." "The registrar-cum-acting V-C is on the job. We will complete the formalities and the university would get UGC recognition soon," Makkar added.
Ahluwalia, however, said, "The university authorities are not aware that the UGC grants permission after the completion of three sessions. There was no point in applying early." He claimed that Makkar had not allowed him to function properly as the V-C.
Meanwhile, Baltej Singh Mann, professor and head of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur National Integration Chair at Punjabi University, has sought an early resolution of the row between Makkar and Ahluwalia. Seeking the intervention of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Mann said the controversy was tarnishing the image of Sikhs at the global level.
Mann also gave a call to the Sikh academia to find an early solution to problems being faced by the SGGSWU, in the interests of students and the faculty.