The Punjab government plans to approach the union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) to press Thapar University (TU) for withdrawing its decision to scrap the state domicile quota.
Meanwhile, in a telephonic conversation, TU officials told officers of the Punjab technical education department that due to "bindings of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to abolish the quota and upkeep the standard of the institute by admitting students of the best quality across the country," the university had decided to abolish the state quota.
The state government, however, has not received any written communication from TU in this regard.
"Such UGC guidelines have not come into force this year. These were already there. In case the university remains adamant on its move on the pretext of UGC guidelines, we will appeal to the MHRD," said a senior officer of the state government.
When contacted, SK Sandhu, principal secretary to the chief minister, said, "The government is exploring all options to protect the state's interests. The CM's office has deputed principal secretary, technical education, to talk to the TU administration."
University officials also told the government that profit was not the motive for abolishing the quota.
"The Thapar Group runs no other institute and all our profit is utilised for the development of TU. Producing the best engineers in the country is our only aim," TU representatives told government officials.
Sources said principal secretary, technical education, SS Channi, would summon TU officials to Chandigarh in a day or two, even as TU director Abhijit Mukherjee met Sudhir Mohan Trehan, chairman of the board of governors of the institute, in New Delhi on Monday.
Members of the Punjab Students Union (PSU), Student Federation of India (SFI) and All India Student Federation (AISF) would hold a joint dharna on Wednesday in front of the TU gate in protest against quota abolition.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has announced to stage a dharna on Thursday.
"The TU move is aimed at depriving Punjab students of their rights," said ABVP state organisation secretary Suraj Bhardwaj in a statement issued here.
Meanwhile, the Punjab State Minority Commission on Monday wrote to TU over the abolition of quota for Punjab students, especially backward classes (5%) and sportspersons (2%).
"TU, an institute of high standards, does not have the right to scrap the quota for backward classes and sportspersons. If the decision is not withdrawn, the commission would move court," said commission vice-president Harjit Singh Adaltiwal.