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Congress, SAD spar over proposal to shift Panjab University’s Muktsar centre

The regional centre was inaugurated in 1998 and has a strength of 450 students.

punjab Updated: Nov 22, 2017 22:09 IST
Sarbmeet Singh
Sarbmeet Singh
Hindustan Times, Muktsar
Panjab University,PU regional centre Muktsar,Amrinder Singh Raja Warring
SAD leader and Muktsar MLA Kanwarjit Singh Rozi Barkandi (left) and Congress MLA from Giddarbaha Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.(HT file)

Ever since talks of shifting a regional centre of the Panjab University (PU) from Muktsar town to Kauni village, 18 km away, in Muktsar district, gained momentum earlier this week, Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders have started taking a dig at each other.

Congress MLA from Giddarbaha, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, said, “No funds were provided to the Muktsar regional centre during the 10-year tenure of the SAD. Instead, a home science college was shifted from Kauni village to Badal village in Muktsar district when Parkash Singh Badal was the chief minister.”

He added, “We are trying to open a centre in Kauni village because more funds are provided to centres that are located in rural areas. It is up to PU officials to shift the centre.”

On the other hand, SAD leader and Muktsar MLA, Kanwarjit Singh Rozi Barkandi, said, “I will raise the matter in the assembly. The decision to shift the centre is unfortunate and the state government is not serious about education.”

Speaking about the proposed step, Congress leader and former Muktsar MLA, Karan Brar, said, “My father-in-law and former chief minister Harcharan Singh Brar had gifted this centre to Muktsar. It is a boon for girls and poor children in the region.”

“What is logic behind shifting a centre from a city to a village?” she asked.

Proposal to shift campus

On Monday, PU vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover had held a meeting with finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Raja Warring and other university officials. Sources said, in the meeting Raja Warring proposed shifting the regional centre to Kauni, a village located in his constituency.

At present, the regional centre in Muktsar operates from a building allotted by a gurdwara. During the meeting, the finance minister had also asked the VC to submit a proposal of developing the centre situated on 20 acres in Kauni village, so that it can also cater to students in Muktsar.

The regional centre was inaugurated in 1998 and has been in a poor condition for a long time. Seven courses are being run at the centre. It has a strength of 450 students, 70% of which are girls.

During the SAD-BJP government last year, this centre was allotted five acres. The boundary wall has been constructed but the main building is far from completion.

Parmjeet Singh Dhingra, director of the regional centre in Muktsar, said, “We are providing quality education and shifting the centre to Kauni will create problems for students. We should be provided more funds so that we can improve this centre.”

A team from PU will visit both the centres on November 27 before taking a final decision about shifting the regional centre.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Student Union has submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner demanding that the centre should not be shifted to Kauni.

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 22:09 IST