The Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) on Sunday said the Khalsa University Amritsar (KUA) was being set up at a site away from the historical Khalsa College’s heritage building, adding that the KCGC was committed to preserving the latter’s character.
Council president Satyajit Singh Majithia, father of Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, said the concerns of all, including political leaders, that the college’s heritage should be protected at all costs, were valid.
The statement comes a day after state Congress president and Amritsar MP Capt Amarinder Singh questioned the logic behind the move to set up the university which, he apprehended, would dilute and subvert the heritage character of Khalsa College.
The KCGC appealed to all political parties to unite in public interest and let the university be established as it was the need of the hour for quality education in the region.
Satyajit added that Khalsa College was being run by an elected body of the council, a non-profit charitable society that owned the land. He said speculation that it was going into private hands was a figment of the imagination.
“As the same society that runs the college and other institutions will be running the university, the question does not arise that the land or any infrastructure of the university will go to any individual or particular family,” he clarified.
“We need to generate employment through professional courses. Thus, university degrees are a must. If cities such as Delhi or Hyderabad can have 7-8 universities, why can’t Amritsar have two?” he asked.
Meanwhile, KCGC honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina stated that as per the University Grants Commission (UGC), the country needed 1,500 universities by 2020 but it had just 777 today. In Punjab alone, eight private universities were established in the past five years, then why is the KCGC, which has the experience, financial back-up and fulfils all norms required for the university as per state government and UGC rules, being denied the opportunity to start an institution of higher learning, he asked.
He said the KCGC had members from various political parties, including Shiromani Akali Dal, Congress, BJP and the Left, who never played petty politics when it came to affairs of Khalsa College institutions.