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Affiliation of Haryana colleges to Panjab University possible, says Governor Purohit; CM Mann reacts sharply

June 2, 2023

June 1, Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday flagged the “possibility” of colleges in neighbouring Haryana to be affiliated with Chandigarh-based Panjab University, triggering a strong reaction from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

In a statement issued by the Haryana government, Purohit, who is also the administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, said this (affiliation) is possible with mutual consent of chief ministers of both the states.

Mann reacted that his government is committed to avert any change in the nature and character of the Panjab University (PU), saying the university is heritage of the state.

He also said his government is committed to safeguard the rights of the state and its people, according to a Punjab government’s statement .

The Punjab CM and the governor have clashed in the past as well.

Earlier, Purohit chaired a meeting with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Mann here, in a cordial atmosphere, regarding various issues related to the PU, according to the Haryana government’s statement.

“Positive steps have been taken towards restoration of Haryana’s share in Panjab University, Chandigarh and affiliation of Haryana state colleges to the varsity,” the statement said.

Notably, Haryana is seeking restoration of the state’s share in PU, Chandigarh.

During the meeting, Purohit said that the governments should work to make education accessible to rural areas as well, and exhorted both the chief ministers that the matters related to PU should be taken forward with mutual consent.

“The issue of affiliation of Haryana colleges to Panjab University is not a big issue; it is possible to do so. This collaboration of Haryana and Punjab will certainly be a good start,” he said, as per the statement.

Meanwhile, according to the statement, Punjab CM Mann “sought some time to finalize these subjects following which a meeting has been scheduled on June 5”.

Later, Mann said the PU, a premier educational institute, has an emotional place in the hearts of the people of Punjab for historical, cultural and provincial reasons.

He said the PU is synonymous with the name of the state, asserting that the university caters only to the state of Punjab and its capital Chandigarh.

The Punjab CM and the governor were at loggerhead last year when the latter had raised issues of “illegal” appointment of Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor and promotion of an IPS officer who was shunted out for alleged misconduct, among others.

Last year, the Haryana Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution recommending the government to seek restoration of the state’s share in the Panjab University.

Haryana Education Minister Kanwar Pal had then said consequent upon the passing of the Kurukshetra University Act, the Centre had on November 1, 1973 issued a notification abolishing state’s share in the PU. At that time, the number of colleges affiliated to the PU in Haryana was 63 across 18 districts.

In the meeting, Khattar said that under the Punjab Reorganisation Act, 1966, the share of Haryana was given to Panjab University and the colleges and regional centres of Haryana were affiliated to Panjab University. However, it was abolished by issuing a notification in 1973.

In today’s era, the colleges of the states are also being affiliated with international universities. The aim of the National Education Policy is that all educational institutions should cooperate in the progress of the country and the mutual relations of all the states should be further strengthened. Therefore, affiliation of colleges of Haryana should be done with Panjab University, Chandigarh, said the Haryana chief minister.

Khattar said that Haryana’s colleges should also have affiliation with PU.

The Haryana government, along with the Centre, will take Panjab University forward, so that the university becomes prosperous and its needs are fulfilled, he asserted.

Citing the history of the university, its constitution, its ethnic, socio-cultural and historical roots as well as its faculty and students who hail primarily from the state of Punjab, Mann said it is important that the present legal and administrative status of the Panjab University should be preserved.

He reminded that at the time of the reorganization of the state of Punjab in 1966, the PU was declared as an ‘Inter State Body Corporate’ under section 72(1) of the Punjab Reorganization Act 1966 enacted by the Parliament.

The chief minister said that ever since its inception, the PU has been continuously and uninterruptedly functioning in the state of Punjab.

Mann recalled that it was shifted from Lahore, the then capital of Punjab, to Hoshiarpur and then to Chandigarh, the present capital of Punjab.

He said that at present 175 colleges of Punjab situated in the districts of Fazilka, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib and S B S Nagar are affiliated with the PU.

Haryana Chief Secretary Sanjeev Kaushal, Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Renu Vig, along with senior officers of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh UT, were also present in the Thursday’s meeting.

Source: PTI

Also Read: ‘Schools of Eminence’ will be harbinger of bright future for students: Punjab CM

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