The Punjab government on Wedenesday decided to scrap the Khalsa University Act, 2016, in a bid to “save” the historic 125-year-old Khalsa College.
A decision to this effect was taken by the state cabinet at a meeting, chaired by Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Amarinder had promised to protect the legacy of Khalsa College, Amritsar, which is one of oldest educational institutions in the country with a heritage status.
An official spokesperson said the cabinet termed as “appalling” the move by the Khalsa College Society to destroy its heritage status by converting the institution into a university.
Khalsa University was established vide Khalsa University Act, 2016, by the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government despite criticism from Amritsar residents and college alumni, the cabinet said.
The cabinet decided that there was “no point establishing an additional university in Amritsar, which already had several reputed institutions of higher learning” such as Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Sri Guru Ram Dass University of Health Sciences and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Amritsar.
The cabinet also noted that taking away a chunk of land from Khalsa College to make a University will affect the existence of Khalsa College. The council of ministers said that in order to maintain the identity of Khalsa College, all the properties attached to it should be kept intact.