Withdraw report on governance reforms in PU, Sukhbir to Prez
Chandigarh Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has written to President Ram Nath Kovind requesting the withdrawal of a report that the Chancellor’s High-Level Committee on governance reforms has submitted with regard to Panjab University (PU). The vice-president is the ex-officio chancellor of universities in the country.
“Please ensure that the territorial jurisdiction of Panjab University is not curtailed in any manner,” his letter to Kovind says, adding that the Punjab governor’s status as ex-officio chancellor of Panjab University be restored. He also called for the ouster for current vice-chancellor Raj Kumar.
“You must assuage the sentiment of Punjabis worldwide, which has been wounded by the attempted brazen cultural and administrative invasion and takeover of Panjab University. Punjabis are deeply disturbed by conspiracies to submerge their culture into a nameless set of ideas, values and cultural ethos quite alien to this region and its proud people in the garb of governance reforms,” the letter adds.
Briefing the president on what he claimed was the latest blow to the university, Sukhbir said in November 2020, the University Grants Commission had sought suggestions on governance reforms in line with the New Education Policy of that year. He added that vice-president Venkaiah Naidu formed an 11-member committee in February 2020, without nominating a single member from its senate or syndicate.
He said the committee recommended drastic reduction in the territorial jurisdiction of the university, disaffiliating over 200 colleges in Punjab, besides calling for the abolition of the Registered Graduates elected Constituency and its replacement with four members to be nominated by the V-C.
“This constituency originally sent eight people from Punjab alone of mandated 15. This symbolises total elimination of Punjabis from the running of the university,” Sukhbir claimed, adding that the recommendations constituted a painful distrust of the people of Punjab through their elected members. “It also amounts to humiliating their voice and pushing them out of the national mainstream,” his letter claims.