The state government’s move to transfer some colleges affiliated with IK Gujral Punjab Technical University (PTU), Kapurthala, to the Maharaja Ranjit Singh University, Bathinda, has put the students in a fix.
The state government through a notification on June 30 ordered that 103 colleges situated in Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur districts would be transferred to newly set up Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University at Bathinda.
However, neither in the Act of Maharaja Ranjit Singh University nor any order of the state government clarified that the students — who were enrolled in the colleges transferred to the Bathinda university — would get degrees from the PTU or the new university.
“Many students joined our college because of the PTU’s brand value. But now they are in a fix as they fear that they will get the degree from Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University which has no brand value. When you apply for a job, what matters is the name of the university from where you have graduated,” said the owner of a Patiala-based college.
Violence at RIMT fallout of unrest
Violence on the campus of RIMT College in Fatehgarh Sahib on Monday was the fallout of the unrest among the students over the issue. Sources said even the state technical education department was not clear over the fate of the students.
Officials of the technical education department said when the PTU was established in 1997, the state government had clarified that the students of colleges affiliated with Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Panjab University, Chandigarh, would be shifted to the PTU.
At that time, a few students of Guru Nanak Engineering College affiliated with Panjab University had moved court keeping in view the brand value of the latter. However, the court rejected their plea as the PTU Act clarified that they would be given degrees by the PTU.
“However, in case of Maharaja Ranjit Singh University, the government has not cleared the air. Till now, the government has not even clarified who would conduct the examinations of colleges transferred to the Bathinda university as it does not have a full-fledged examination wing,” said a senior PTU official.
Principal secretary, technical education, MP Singh and secretary and officiating vice-chancellor of the PTU RK Verma did not respond to the repeated phone calls. Even technical education minister Madam Mohan Mittal did not attend the calls as his private secretary said the minister was busy in meetings.
Reconsider decision, says Tech Institutions’ body
Chandigarh: Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) has requested Punjab government to reconsider the decision of affiliating the colleges of 11 districts with newly formed Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University, Bathinda. Students want degrees from the PTU and have resorted to protests in Mandi Gobindgarh. The situation is also grim in colleges situated in Banur, Rajpura and Fatehgarh Sahib, said PUTIA president JS Dhaliwal. The activities have gone viral on social media, he added.
He said the association supported the government decision to have separate university, but it should reconsider its decision of transferring hundreds of colleges to the Bathinda university.
PUTIA vice-president Anshu Kataria said in the past two decades, Punjab has emerged as an education hub with students from across the country coming in to pursue professional courses.
“But the government’s decision has disappointed them and they plan to return. Migration of around 5,000 students belonging to other states will result in a loss of almost Rs 200 crore to the state government,” he further said.