Try to fund your own expenses, Venkaiah Naidu advises Panjab University
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Try to fund your own expenses, Venkaiah Naidu advises Panjab University

Varsity’s 67th convocation: Naidu asks Panjab University to take care of its finances, tells senators freedom of expression has limitations.

punjab Updated: Mar 05, 2018 22:41 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ifrah Mufti
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Venkaiah Naidu,Panjab University,fund own expenses
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu conferring Khel Rattan upon Olympian Milkha Singh during the varsity’s 67th annual convocation.(Keshav Singh/HT)

Universities should reform, perform and transform to become centres of excellence, M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice-President of India and chancellor, Panjab University (PU), said while addressing the 67th PU Annual Convocation on Sunday.

There were moments during the address when Naidu seemed to hint that PU needed to look for ways to generate revenues and improve its academic standards.

The Vice-President was on the campus at a time when PU is facing a financial crunch, its budget deficit increasing by Rs 100 crore over the years and the Centre asking it time and again to cut expenditure and increase income. No teachers have been recruited in the past two years, leaving departments critically short on faculty, lowering PU’s ranking at national and international levels.

Occasional fee hikes by the varsity have also invited criticism from students.

Students in a jubilant mood after receiving their degrees in Chandigarh on Sunday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Advice for senators

Naidu also had advice for the senate and the syndicate, saying these are “forums where academic discussions should happen and which should give proper advice to enhance the academic standards of the university. The senators should take an interest in seeing ways in which the revenues of the university can go up,” he said.

Adding that there was nothing wrong in looking up to the government of India for funds, he said the varsity at the same time should also generate revenues. Higher education in the 21st century cannot be attained without proper infrastructure and able support.

The vice president also mentioned the direct complaints related to the university submitted to the Chancellor’s office.

“This is my second advice to all the senators sitting here and also the managing committee members. The exercise of freedom of thought is one of the fundamental rights but at the same time, I wish to tell you my friends, that freedom of expression also has limitations. Freedom of expression should not hurt the other man’s freedom, other man’s sentiments. Regulation is for proper civilisation. Dissent is acceptable but it should not hurt anybody.”

First Published: Mar 05, 2018 10:26 IST