Panjab University seems to have different yardstick for deciding the fate of courses it runs. In a stark contrast, the PU authorities took no time in closing a self-financed course run by a department equipped with the best infrastructure, including ONGC chair and faculty, while they went out of way to protect a course which is being run by guest faculty. The department does not even have sanctioned posts for the course in the budget.
The university had closed down MSc (petroleum) course, being offered by the department of geology, saying that not even a single student had opted for the course that led to its discontinuation.
On the contrary, students who cleared the entrance test in 2011 for admission in MSc (petroleum) were denied admission by the department and ended up having a 'zero session'. However, after declaring the last session as 'zero year', the university authorities decided that efforts would be made to attract students to the course in the next session.
However, the authorities recently resolved to discontinue the course without even making an attempt to attract students in the coming session. According to sources in the department all the students, who were denied admission last year, are still interested in getting admission this year. The course was started in 2009.
On the other hand, a course in police administration was started by the department of evening studies in 2009 without permanent faculty members, which is in volition of the laid down norms of the university. The department recently decided to put the course in abeyance till it gets permanent faculty.
However, due to vested interest of some faculty members, lobbying for restarting the course, a committee comprising dean of university instructions (DUI) Prof Bhupinder Singh Brar, dean of students' welfare (DSW) prof Amrik Singh Ahluwalia, dean of arts faculty BS Ghuman and chairman of the evening department Indu Tewari was formed, which resolved that the course would be resumed on a condition that a post vacant in other department will be transferred in the evening department.
Criticising the university, students and faculty members said it brought to focus the poor state of affairs and bad management.
"By closing petroleum course, the university set to loose Rs 70,000 fee per session from a candidate. Moreover, the department has best faculty along with eminent visiting faculty to guide the students. While the other department does not even have a sanctioned post for the said course," said a faculty member.
DUI Bhupinder Singh Brar said police administration was a popular choice among students and going by the facts and figure, the case was re-opened, in contrary, the petroleum course failed to attract students.
However, he said the fate of both the courses was decided on the basis of recommendations made by the respective departments.
Evening department chairman Indu Tewari said they had no budgeted post for the course therefore they decided to put it off.