Celebrations in connection with the 65th foundation day of Panjab University on the campus offered a mix bag on Saturday, with 'Vision 20-20' panel discussion not attracting adequate audience while a talk by an eminent historian was clearly a hit with students.
Prof Romila Thapar, eminent historian and Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, spoke on history as a whole as well as the journey of education in the country before a jam-packed audience.
On the other hand, the panel discussion was a tame affair, where all speakers aired their views by turns. There was also discomfort among faculty members at varsity authorities, especially deans, since all were not invited for the foundation day function.
"I received no invitation from the varsity authorities and thus could not go for the function despite me wanting to attend the same," lamented a Professor Emeritus.
The varsity faculty rued that a particular lobby was being promoted, adding that such thing should not have happened during foundation day celebrations.
Speaking on the occasion, PU vice chancellor Prof Arun Grover said, "The almost-empty hall doesn't bother me at all. We are here for a dialogue and the same has begun. In case not many questions are entertained, the same can be mailed across which will be taken care of."
The VC opened the 'discussion' that was later handled by Prof RP Bambah, a former VC, who acted as the moderator for the discussion.
Later, during panel discussion, Dr RK Kohli, Professor of Botany and Dean University Instruction, stressed the need for cultivating creative instincts and a scientific temperament prompted by a deep concern for society. Towards this, he called for a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach and inception of scholarships to attract students to science streams.
A vibrant cultural programme rounded off the celebrations. An eclectic mix of classical and folk music and dances kept the audience enthralled for over an hour.
Research and incubation centre to be set up
Vice chancellor Dr AK Grover said that there were plans to set up Chandigarh research and incubation centre. Local MP and union minister for parliamentary affairs Pawan Kumar Bansal said that it was a brilliant idea and that he would contribute for the project from MPLAD fund.
Bansal assures on central status
Bansal said that Panjab University would have been accorded the central university status long ago but for the opposition from certain quarters. "We are still trying to arrange for funds and we shall soon be able to do something good for the varsity," the union minister assured.