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Akali Dal advises Punjab CM against meeting Khattar over college affiliation issue

June 6, 2023

June 4, The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sunday asked Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann not to hold a meeting with his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar over the issue of affiliation of Haryana colleges with Panjab University.

Mann and Khattar are scheduled to meet on Monday here to discuss the affiliation matter.

The first meeting in the matter was held on June 1 in which Punjab Governor Banwarilal had flagged the possibility of colleges in neighbouring Haryana to be affiliated with Chandigarh-based PU, triggering a strong reaction from Mann.

Purohit, who is also the administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, had said the affiliation was possible with mutual consent of chief ministers of both the states.

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

In a statement here on Sunday, SAD senior leader Daljit Singh Cheema said, “CM Bhagwant Mann should keep away from all meetings which seek to change the character of the Panjab University and should have registered a strong protest with the Punjab Governor on this issue.”

Cheema said Haryana did not have any stake in the PU after the voluntary disaffiliation of its colleges from the University in 1978.

“It even stopped funding the University subsequently. Now it seems an effort is afoot to gain control over the democratically elected institutions which govern the University – the Senate and the Syndicate by affiliating colleges from Haryana to the varsity.

“Besides this, it is aimed at diluting Punjab’s claim to the university which right now only has colleges from Punjab affiliated to it. This will also strengthen Haryana’s claim over Chandigarh,” he said.

Cheema also alleged the recent demands of Haryana to secure land in Chandigarh to build its separate Vidhan Sabha was also aimed at strengthening its hold over Chandigarh.

Cheema said concerted efforts had been made in recent years to weaken Punjab’s hold in the UT administration.

He said such attempts included not maintaining the 60:40 ratio in posting of Punjab and Haryana officers in Chandigarh, creating a UT cadre and posting officers from this cadre on important civil and police posts, giving central pay scales to UT employees, and not designating Punjabi as the official language of communication.

Seeking affiliation for Haryana colleges with the PU in the June 1 meeting, Haryana CM Khattar had 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 PU.

However, it was abolished by the issue of a notification in 1973.

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 its 18 districts.

Source: PTI

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