Set up by Badals, it’s curtains for Bathinda technical varsity | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Set up by Badals, it’s curtains for Bathinda technical varsity

The Congress-led state government has initiated the process to revoke the previous SAD-BJP government’s decision to set up a second technical university in Bathinda by the name of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University (MRSTU), and is likely to hand over all the technical education colleges in Punjab to IK Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), Kapurthala.

punjab Updated: Apr 14, 2017 09:20 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
The Punjab Technical University will get back 103 colleges from the Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda.
The Punjab Technical University will get back 103 colleges from the Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda.(HT File Photo)

The Congress-led state government has initiated the process to revoke the previous SAD-BJP government’s decision to set up a second technical university in Bathinda by the name of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University (MRSTU), and is likely to hand over all the technical education colleges in Punjab to IK Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), Kapurthala.

Technical education minister Charanjit Channi said his department had decided that “there was no need to have two in a small state like Punjab” following consultations with experts and officials of the department.

FOR POLITICAL GAINS

“Having two PTUs is only creating confusion and has decreased the brand value of the original PTU. It’s also creating problems in student placements.

The decision to set up a university at Bathinda was taken by the Badals for political gains alone,” Channi told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat.

It was in June 2014 that the previous Badal government had decided to set up a second PTU at Bathinda on the campus of Giani Zail Singh Engineering College.

As per the MRSTU Bathinda Act passed in Punjab assembly in 2015, colleges in Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur districts were transferred to this university.

The IKG-PTU was left with 170 colleges, including 66 engineering, 20 pharmacy, 78 management, four architecture and two hotel management colleges, while the Bathinda varsity got 103 colleges, including 41 engineering, 13 pharmacy, 46 management and three architecture colleges.

Since the previous governPTUs ment was short of funds for the new university, the government also ordered the IKG-PTU to give 50% funds to Bathinda university from its corpus of more than ₹1,500 crore.

Till now, Rs 150 crore has been transferred to the Bathinda university, but it lies unused.

Channi, however, clarified that the PTU Bathinda would remain a university focusing on skill development, research and teachers’ training. “It will be an autonomous body affiliated with PTU,” he said.

The move to set up the second technical varsity was also opposed by experts and Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA).

CHIEF MINISTER TO GIVE FINAL NOD

Charanjit Channi said he has prepared a detailed presentation showing how the two varsities were downgrading technical education in the state.

“I am going to meet the CM in coming days. The final decision will be taken only after receiving his nod,” said Channi.

The teachers of Giani Zail Singh College have also demanded the restoration of the original status where the college was an autonomous body and was affiliated to PTU, Kapurthala.

“Ours was the best college in mechanical engineering. Ever since we were made a constituent college of MRSTU, our grading has fallen. In the last two sessions, only 50% of the seats were filled in mechanical engineering,” lamented Prof Charanjit Singh, head of the staff body of the college.

TECHINCAL VARSITY SHARING STAFF

Even after two years of its establishment, the Bathinda university is yet to come into its own and is working with employees of the Giani Zail Singh College and a few officials transferred from Kapurthala university. Only a few regular appointments have been made till now.