In spite of being touted as the most popular, many courses at Punjabi Universities have failed to draw students during the ongoing admission process for the current academic session, with more than 60% of the seats lying vacant in many departments.
The university authorities have now pinned their hopes on the second counselling session, scheduled for August 5, which may help fill the seats.
While nearly Rs 5 crore were spent on arranging infrastructure, including an air-conditioned building, the bachelor's course in hospitality and hotel management has managed to attract only 16 students, against 33seats filled last year. The course has total 60 seats.
Of the 40 seats offered in the new BSc in airline tourism hospitality management course, 22 seats are still lying vacant.
Similarly, 12 of 20 seats stand vacant in the first-year master's course at the sports sciences department, while only one seat of total 15 have been filled up in post graduate diploma in heath fitness and trainer, despite the construction of a new gymnasium at a cost of Rs 30 lakh, last year.
The attempt of the university authorities to promote courses on religions also appears to have failed to attract students, as 18 of 20 seats are not filled, while nine and eight seats of total 20 each are still vacant in bachelor's and master's degree programme of the Gurmat Sangeet department.
In spite of the women studies department's claims that it conducts many national seminars and conferences on women-related issues, almost all seats of post graduate diplomas in women and child development, and child care and skill development, are lying vacant so far.
Even though the university has been recognised for achievements in arts, language and culture, 17 seats in different courses at the music department, and 28 seats in the linguistic and lexicography departments have not been filled either.
Dean academic affairs Dr Paramjeet Singh said that students were still unaware about the management courses, but the university authorities were hopeful of getting more applicants in second counselling.
"We were facing problems in filling seats in some courses, but had to increase seats in certain departments like law, social sciences and economics after receiving surplus applications", he said.
Students also seem reluctant to get admission in the regional campuses, including Jhunhir in Mansa; Guru Kashi campus in Talwandi Sabo; Maur Mandi in Mansa; and Delha Seehan and Malerkotala in Sangrur district, even though the university has spent crores of rupees on them.
Only 10% of seats were filled in the courses in these campuses, including bachelors and masters in computer application, masters in information and technology and post graduate diploma in computer sciences, in first counselling.