The Punjab government's plans to bring uniformity in syllabus and fee structure of three main universities in the state may hit a road block and the tall claims of the state education department to implement the system before the upcoming academic session may fall flat in the absence of any concrete strategy or criteria for the purpose.
Aiming to bring consistency in academics of educational institutes across the state and provide a comprehensive method for students to move from one institution from another, Punjab's education department had decided to bring uniformity in syllabus and fee structure of Panjab University (PU), Chandigrarh, Punjabi University, Patiala (PUP) and Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU), Amritsar.
A senior official in the education department revealed that the state government has constituted a committee of deans colleges of the three universities under the chairmanship of dean colleges of PUP JA Khan but the state authorities are yet to come up with concrete strategies and criteria for compiling uniform structure.
"Besides, huge difference between fee structures of these universities for different courses has been acting as a big hurdle for the authorities to reach any consensus", said the official seeking anonymity.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, even Education minister Sikander Singh Maluka showed his concerns that with lowest fee structure among the three universities, Panjab university authorities are a little reluctant to give its nod to the state's project.
As per available information, with implementation of uniformity in fee structure, the fees for different courses of Panjab university would automatically go high to bring these at par with the two other universities.
In fact, as GNDU charges around 20 to 30 per cent more fees than those charged by the Panjab and Punjabi universities.
"We are carrying out discussions with Panjab university authorities but with intake of maximum students from different states including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh union territory, the authorities are reluctant to go with uniformity plans of the state government", Maluka said.
He added that not only over the fee structure, PU authorities have also come up with reservations over compiling uniform syllabus due to language barriers.
"We are hopeful that some alternative methods may come to fore. In case, there would be no consensus, we may implement uniformity plans in Punjabi and GNDU universities adding contents of syllabus of Panjab University from the coming academic session", he said.
However, PU registrar AK Bhandari said as it caters to the educational needs of students from other states and Chandigarh, the status of PU is quite different than other two universities and apart from fee structure, language is another important thing to take into consideration before taking any final decision on the matter.
"We are participating and discussing the matter in the meeting especially held for this purpose. The uniformity in fee and syllabus would be helpful for students but we are yet to take decision in this regard as we are hopeful to come up with better alternatives and options to deal with the situation", he said.
Education department yet to come up with strategies and criteria for bringing about uniformity; Education Minister says Panjab university a little reluctant to adopt the system