Under fire for abolishing the 50% quota for Punjab students, Thapar University is now facing questions over the change in name of the trust that manages the institute. Though the name was changed from Patiala Technical Education Trust to Thapar Education Trust on May 20, 2010, the issue has come under the scanner now, with Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla hopping on to the protest bandwagon.
"I have been born and brought up in Patiala, and as a lover of the royal city, I see the decision to change the name as an attempt to erase history," said Singla, a Congress leader.
"Right from the inception of the institute in 1956, the elite of Patiala helped it get the attention of big companies. Erasing the name of Patiala, is an attempt to erase the contribution of Patiala in building this institution. This is a clear case of the management wanting to get a firmer grip over the functioning of the university," he added.
He also asked TU to restore the Punjab domicile quota "like other privately managed institutes in several states".
The decision to change the name of the trust was taken by six out of the seven trustees, the one exception being former CM and state Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh, scion of the erstwhile Patiala princely state.
Interestingly, even after around two years of changing the name of the trust, the university website has not updated it. Honorary secretary of the trust, Sanjay Sachdeva, was not available for comment despite attempts.
Meanwhile, the Youth Organization of India (YOI), a students' body that held a meeting on Sunday, demanded that TU withdraw the move to abolish the quota within a week.
Dal Khalsa, a hardline Sikh organisation, in a statement issued here, demanded that the state government should ensure withdrawal of the decision of abolishing quota. Dal spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the university was located on the land of Punjab, and thus "people have hopes from the institutes". "The management under no pretext can refuse to give quota to the sons of the soil," he said.
Former chairman of the Youth Development Board of Punjab and former student leader Gurpreet Singh Raju Khanna said he would lead a delegation to the Punjab CM on Monday, urging him to intervene in the matter and safeguard the interests of Punjab.