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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Land deal with govt: Pbi varsity to keep ownership rights

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Patiala, November 09, 2013
First Published: 00:59 IST(9/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(9/11/2013)

Call it a tactic of Punjabi University to come out unscathed from the controversy that erupted after it decided to give land to the state government free of cost, the authorities have now decided to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government to keep ownership rights with the university in near future.

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The university authorities attracted flak as despite facing shortage of space for its own expansion and opening new departments and hostels, it decided to give around 5.75 acre of prime land to the Punjab government to open Adarsh residential school.

However, the cash-strapped university has yet to give complete possession of the land worth crores of rupees to the government for the purpose.

Sources in the university revealed that facing flak from students and teaching faculty, the authorities have now decided to sign an MoU with the state government that in case the government did not come up with any school or the project failed in near future, the land will be restored to the university.

“As per a clause in the MoU, which is being drafted, in case the school did not come up or is closed due to any reason after giving the possession of land, the university will have the legitimate right to get land along with any kind of development or construction on it,” a source said.

Terming university's decision as 'meaningless' union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, who is MP from Ludhiana, has also written to Punjab governor Shivraj Patil, urging him to immediately look into the matter.

According to available information, earlier also, while giving land for the Central Institute of Northern Regional Language Centre few years ago, the university had signed a similar MoU with the Centre.

With an objective to provide better educational facilities, the state government has decided to open six Adarsh residential schools across the state, especially for students who scored more than 80% marks in their matriculation examination. As soon as schools come up, the government will hand these over to private firms.

Repeated attempts to contact Punjabi University vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh and registrar AS Chawla proved futile.

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