2014 a mixed bag of a year for state universities
Six days to the new year, HT brings to you a couple of highs and lows seen by two state universities Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), both of which are a cynosure for education and research for students and scholars from across the country.punjab Updated: Dec 25, 2014 19:51 IST
Six days to the new year, HT brings to you a couple of highs and lows seen by two state universities Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), both of which are a cynosure for education and research for students and scholars from across the country.
Foundation stone of new building for college of fisheries
To fortify the campus infrastructure, former GADVASU vice-chancellor VK Taneja laid the foundation stone of new buildings in August and December.
While in August, the foundation was laid for a unit that will accommodate school of biotechnology, public health and a small animal referral hospital, in December it was for college of fisheries. Taneja announced that same buildings would have high-tech facilities in all labs for detailed research programmes.
Faculty members and students welcomed this announcement with high spirits as it offered the opportunity of getting a platform for better research.
NABARD awards vet varsity
GADVASU bagged the 'Partnership Excellence Award' from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on its 33rd foundation day held at Chandigarh in July. The award was given by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to VK Taneja, the then vice-chancellor.
Vision 2030 released: April 21
On the ninth foundation of GADVASU, former vice chancellor VK Taneja in the presence of Registrar PD Juyal and other faculty members released a 44 page document, 'Vision 2030' that unfolds various success stories of the varsity and its aims and objectives by 2030 which mainly includes reaching out with various training programmes to each and every farmer of Punjab and to ensure that there was no shortage of skilled manpower in dairy, fisheries and veterinary sectors.
Vet varsity wins overall theatre trophy
In March, students of GADVASU tasted victory at the all- India Inter Agricultural Youth festival held in Bangalore where they won the overall trophy for theatre in which more than 60 universities from across the country participated. Special prizes were also won by students in other cultural items.
NAAS honours vice-chancellor
Baldev Singh Dhillon, vice-chancellor, PAU was selected for the prestigious 'Dr BP Pal Memorial Award' by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) for his outstanding contributions to overall agricultural research and development. This is an apex award of the academy, carrying a citation, a gold medal and a cash prize of Rs 2.00 lakh. This was recently announced by NAAS.
Seed production recognition for PAU
PAU was declared the 'Centre of Excellence for Seed Production' by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. A review team for the period 2009-2014, constituted by ICAR under the Chairmanship of Padma Bhushan awardee, M Mahadevappa, former vice-chancellor, University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and former chairman, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board, highly praised PAU for providing good quality seed not only to the state but the whole country.
New varieties released
PAU released many new varieties for general cultivation in Punjab in this year. These include PR 123 of rice, Pusa Punjab basmati 1509 of basmati, WH 1105 and PBW 660 of wheat, PMH 9 of maize, Co Pb 91 of sugarcane, SL 958 of soybean, FMDH 9 of desi cotton, hybrid PMH 8 of spring maize, Kosi of mentha, PHB 2884 of bajra, PBR 357 of raya, PBG 7 of desi gram, OL 10 of oats and GSC 7 of "gobhi sarson".
Tomato variety 'Punjab Ratta' and a brinjal hybrid 'PBHL-52,' developed by PAU, were found promising and were identified for cultivation in Zone-4 of the country comprising Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Trai region of Uttarakhand and Bihar.
Fisheries college students' unemployment strike
The unemployment strike started by students from fisheries college of GADVASU gained a lot of hype.
The strike which began on June 2 lasted for two months as protesting students demanded government jobs. Students spent days together at the veterinary hospital gate.
Above all, the protest remained dotted with rallies, meetings with state ministers including Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal followed by many other initiatives including cleaning cars on roads, polishing shoes of public to collect money for the state government.
Finally, it ended on August 7 after the students were handed over an official letter that stated that government would try its best to arrange jobs for them.
No canteen on campus
Students and employees remained irked over the lack of canteen at the administrative block on the GADVASU campus ever since the university's inception in 2006. According to students, they approached the authorities concerned from time to time in this regard but all their efforts proved to be futile. However, after HT reported their plight several times the authorities opened the canteen in October of this year.
Randhawa's old correspondence ignored
At PAU, old correspondence including self written notes, letters, postcards, formal letters, reference books of second vice-chancellor MS Randhawa which were stacked in the hall of fame of the university's library since the library was inaugurated by Randhawa never got laminated or digitalised despite several assurances to HT from time to time that they would be laminated or digitalised in the subsequent months.
With the passage of time, this old correspondence is getting worn out and it was Randhawa's aim to keep the students and staff members oriented with old communication styles by placing the old correspondence.
Despite forecast, PAU makes a mess of Kisan Mela
This year's PAU Kisan Mela that took place on September 12 and 13 lasted only for few hours on the maiden day as heavy rainfall played a spoilsport and all farmers and visitors left the venue within minutes. Vice- chancellor BS Dhillon transferred two weather officials from PAU's school of climate change and agricultural metrology on the same day as Dhillon blamed them that had they alerted the authorities concerned about an inclement weather, the mela dates could have been postponed.
Besides, Due to heavy rain on the opening of Kisan Mela and Pashu Palan Mela of PAU and GADVASU respectively on September 12, the fields of PAU and GADVASU campuses were flooded with water followed by traffic jams on campus roads as all visitors wanted to swiftly leave the venue. The authorities concerned failed to streamline the chaos for hours and several visitors criticised the orgainsers for mismanagement.
Annual magazine releases after 2.5 years
The annual PAU Magazine of Young Writers Association (YWA) finally got released in late August after a long wait by its student members after a gap of two years, 6 months. Ever since YWA's inception in the early sixties, the magazine which carried articles of students and promoted writing talent, was released each year.
However, since 2012 opening, this magazine never got published. The agitated students held various meetings, met the concerned officials from time to time and pressurised the authorities to finally publish the magazine although its release date was postponed repetitively.
Roads never got repaired
The pathetic road conditions of PAU remained a concern for all students and authorities failed to repair them. Several times, estate officer JS Mahal revealed that PAU hasdno funds but V-C BS Dhillon in July confirmed that work would commence within four months which enevr happened.
The major affected roads: Road from department of biotechnology till Central Institute of Post Harvesting and Technology (CIPT); Road around hostels 2, 4 and 7 and from department of economics till gate 8.