Most of the new courses started by Punjabi University, Patiala in the last few years have failed to draw students.
Take postgraduate diploma course in health fitness trainer for example. Started this academic session by sports science department of the university, not a single student has taken admission in this course.
All 15 seats in this diploma course are lying vacant even though the admission counselling concluded last week.
And it's not for want of infrastructure or faculty. In fact, the department spent more than Rs 30 lakh to build a new gym centre. A teacher from the department of sports science was made in-charge for this course. The university had also recently advertised for a few posts of assistant professors for this course.
The bachelor's course in hospitality and hotel management was started in 2010 with much fanfare. The university built a new building spending more than Rs five crore and recruited new faculty. But out of total 60 seats in this course, only 33 are filled.
Similarly, the tourism department started the bachelor's course in tourism management in 2010 where 35 out of 60 seats were vacant.
Ironically, the university projected the introduction of these courses as one of its biggest achievements in the recent times. The building of the tourism and hospitality course is running from is one of the most beautiful buildings of the campus. It's also the only department that has AC rooms for its teaching faculty members.
The bachelor's course in television and film production and media technology has also failed to attract students where eight seats are lying vacant.
Even though the university administration under the leadership of vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh claims that students have shown keen interest in the courses related to arts and culture, the ground reality doesn't suggest so. Ten seats were lying vacant in Indian classical dance course, while 17 seats were unoccupied in theatre and arts. In Sikh studies, 23 seats were lying vacant, while in linguistic department the number of unoccupied seats was 21.
To fill these seats, the university even conducted a second counseling session on Friday. "Most of these courses were started to adjust loyalists of the powers that are in the university. No proper ground work was done before spending crores of rupees for these courses," alleged a senior faculty member from social sciences.
Dean academics, SS Khehra, blamed the lack of interest in these courses on poor publicity. "Being a government institution we have some constraints. Like private institutes, we cannot advertise on a mass basis," said Khehra.