After failing to establish a university in 2011 as vociferous protests by the staff forced the management to take a back step, the Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) has initiated a fresh move to establish the Khalsa University, saying that the decision will have no impact on the existing Khalsa College or any of its departments.
However, rubbishing the reports that the Khalsa College would be a private university, KCGC honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, on Friday, said, “The university will be an independent entity separate from the Khalsa College, which is housed in the heritage buildings on the campus’’
He added, “The University Grants Commission (UGC) has given Khalsa College an autonomous status and therefore the college will continue to be under Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, with its aided programmes and courses intact.”
“The much- awaited education project of the Khalsa College Governing Council to establish Khalsa University, Amritsar (KUA) will soon be a reality, but the independent academic atmosphere of the college will remain autonomous,” he said.
“A team headed by Anurag Verma, secretary, higher education, recently visited the Khalsa College to make an assessment. The team has been convinced with the infrastructure, financial status and the available expertise with the management to set up the new university,” informed Chhina.
University and its features
This professional varsity would be set up separately on about 35 acres of land available with the society on the Ram Tirath Road. KUA would be a multi-faculty and professional university. The college authorities assure that they have more built up area than required for setting up the new varsity. “More buildings to house various departments will come up in the times to come and the plans for these building are already ready. The varsity will be a centre of excellence for professional courses,” said one of the officials.
The society that would run the university affairs as per the laid guidelines of the state government, the UGC and other monitoring bodies, is a non-profit-making society and is elected every five years (with no change in the constitution since 1892)
Currently, there are 11 colleges and five schools, apart from historic Khalsa College being run under the society.
Proposal and controversy
The project report of the proposed Khalsa University was prepared by the then principal Daljit Singh and was forwarded to the government.
However, this proposal created panic amongst the teaching and non-teaching staff, which under PCCTU came out raising slogans and taking on the principal, accusing him and the management of changing the very existence of the historic institution. This agitation lasted for around three months and the leaders of various political parties came out in the support of the teachers.