Continuing to show their “desperation” to create yet another private university in the state, Punjab’s higher education department has recommended the creation of CT University in Ludhiana without waiting for it to comply with the conditions laid down in the rulebook.
The CT Group of Institutions, Jalandhar, is setting up a CT University in Ludhiana and is yet to comply with the condition of having 60,000 square feet fully-furnished constructed area. Principal secretary, higher education, Roshan Sankaria, who headed a team that inspected the university on July 1, has reported to the government that the university has constructed adequate covered area but furnished only a part of it (22,000 square feet). According to Sankaria, this area is enough to meet all the academic and administrative requirements of the university for the first three years of functioning. He adds that the rest of the area can be furnished by the university within three months.
The report is to be put up for consideration before the high-powered committee headed by the chief secretary for the final nod.
However, despite the fact that the university is yet to be created, the group has started “admissions”. Students calling on the number given on the CT Group, Jalandhar, website are told that admission to the ‘CT University’ is open and many students have already been admitted to the various courses on offer. When asked about the requisite permission to run the university, they claim that the university will be functional by August 16. (A recording of one such call is with HT).
Charanjit Singh Channi, the head of the managing committee of the CT group, however, said admissions to the university were not being done. “All the admissions that are being done are in the form of provisional registration for the group’s Jalandhar campus,” he said, adding that once the university is approved, Jalandhar campus students willing to shift to the university campus in Ludhiana will be able to do so.
In April, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had “ratified” the creation of this university following a ‘special effort’ made by higher education minister, Surjit Singh Rakhra, to push its creation. Rakhra’s two-page note urged the CM that the university be allowed to be created, waiving various policy conditions as the applicant organisation, CT Group of Institutions, Jalandhar, had already spent a lot of money on the university project and also taken a loan of `115 crore from banks. The group could meet the norms within a year of the university’s creation, Rakhra added in the note.
However, following an objection by then principal secretary, higher education, Anurag Verma, stating that the proposed university does not even have the requisite constructed space among other shortcomings, the chief minister was forced to send the matter for legal advise to the advocate general. However, for reasons best known to the technical education department, the file was recalled from the AG’s office without his (Verma’s) advise. In the meantime, Verma was eased out of the department and Sankaria was brought in. Sankaria could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.