Punjab government to start Guru Nanak Open University in Patiala

State govt made the announcement as part of its celebrations to mark the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak
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Updated on Oct 25, 2019 11:09 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Patiala

The Royal City will soon become the education hub of Punjab, as it will have four state-funded universities. The Punjab government has announced to open a Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University here as part of its celebrations to mark the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak.


With this, Patiala, which is the home bastion of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, will become the only city in Punjab to have four universities — Punjabi University, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Sports University, and the newly announced Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University. Apart from these,

Thapar Engineers Institute has also been declared as a deemed university, while the city also has the Government Medical and Dental College.

The city also has National Institute of Sports (NIS), a centrally-funded sports and training institute. The building of NIS Patiala is located within the old royal palace campus, which was donated by Captain Amarinder Singh’s father, Yadavindra Singh.


A bill in this regard will be presented in the next session of the vidhan sabha for the enactment of the Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University Act, 2019.

The decision to set up the open varsity is in line with the global shift in education sector, and more students pursuing online courses through distance education. Such massive open online courses (MOOCs) are becoming increasing popular worldwide, thus prompting the Punjab government to follow the suit.

This institute will provide flexibility in terms of eligibility for enrolment, age of entry, choice of courses, methods of learning, conduct of programmes, besides offering degree, diploma and certificate courses for the benefit of the working population in different disciplines. The aim is to provide educational opportunities to students with no or little access to regular higher learning.


After coming to power in 2017, Captain Amarinder Singh had announced a sports university in Patiala. Later, cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra had exhorted the village panchyat of Sidhuwal to give land for opening the university. The sports university will take shape in two to three years. Till that time, its office and academic activities have been started from the historic Mohindra Kothi.

Meanwhile, former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh has opposed the move.


    A principal correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

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