The Punjab government has summoned Thapar University (TU) authorities to Chandigarh to explain the reasons behind scrapping the 50% quota for students from the state in undergraduate engineering courses.
The government had earlier asked TU for a formal explanation, which was found unsatisfactory, said SS Channi, principal secretary, technical education.
"The university cited guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC) as the reason behind abolishing the quota. But that did not appear satisfactory. We have now called them (TU management) to Chandigarh on Friday to explain their position," Channi, who has been tasked with handling the matter by the chief minister's office, told HT. He stressed, "The government position is clear - it wants the quota restored."
Under fire from several sections, including student unions, the TU administration preferred to remain tightlipped. HT tried to contact TU director Abhijit Mukherjee, but calls and text messages remained unanswered.
Meanwhile, protests against the university continued. The Punjab Students' Union (PSU) staged dharna at TU gates for nearly three hours. "The quota is our right, as the institute has been established on government land and with government funding," said PSU state secretary Beant Singh.
A delegation of the SFI and the All-India Student Federation (AISF) also submitted a memorandum addressed to the CM and the governor, seeking restoration of the quota, to the deputy commissioner.
Punjab Congress grievances cell chairman Amarjit Singh Tikka also issued a statement against the university move and the "deep slumber" of the SAD-BJP government. He said a delegation of the state unit of the Congress would meet union HRD minister Kapil Sibal over the issue.