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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 12:59 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 12:59 AM (IST)

Need to change varsity Calendar

Surinder Singh Virdi
Most of the educated people in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are concerned and worried about the state of affairs prevailing in the Panjab University at present. Most of them have been educated and hold a degree from this university. It is an old and prestigious university of North India and even educational institutes of the Andman and Nicobar Islands were attached with it. As far as the financial crisis goes, the options available with the Vice Chancellor to arrange finances are: To approach the Chief Minister of Punjab for additional grants; encourage consultancy services in the university departments, contact the alumni of the university to donate funds. Above all, the Centre has to provide additional aid since the expenditure on water, power, salaries, etc., is increasing every year. What needs to be analysed and studied is that why there is no financial crises in any of the deemed universities or other private universities of the state. They are not being financed by the state government or the UGC and are still viable financially. These varsities are also growing at a much faster pace than Panjab University. For example, a few teachers and private organisations have created new universities in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. What is the magic that they possess? At present, institutes of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are not attached with this university and it is financed by Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. The problem is not from where it is getting finances, the problem is how it is being run and administered. 

The top body is the 11-member Syndicate, which is elected every year from the 90 Senate members. There is groupism in these bodies as they are aligned with different organisations and vote keeping in view how to run the University. They dictate terms and conditions to the Vice Chancellor. The tragedy is that the Vice Chancellor cannot run the university independently as the university Calendar, which is very old, has laid down the norms for its day-to-day running. He has to either face or accommodate the views of 90 senators. The Chancellor is the Vice President, who is stationed in Delhi. The need of the day is to look into the old Calendar of the university and bring about need-based changes in order to accommodate new ideas. This will revive the university's old days of glory and also improve its financial health.

The writer is an ex-Member of the Senate and has been a Syndic for 16 years. 

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