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CM Amarinder rejects any move to alter status of Panjab University

In the demi-official letter written, the chief minister asserted that the Haryana government could not take advantage of the ongoing proceedings in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.


PTI 30 Jul 2018, 02:09 PM India

Rejecting outright any move to change the present status of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying his government was open to increasing the grant-in-aid for the varsity through a mutually consultative process.

In the demi-official letter written, the chief minister asserted that the Haryana government could not take advantage of the ongoing proceedings in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

"The transitory financial resources problem and its resolution by the statutory stakeholders do not permit the Government of Haryana to turn back the clock," he wrote, according to an official statement today.

Notably, Amarinder Singh's Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier this month urged the central government for restoration of Haryana's share in Panjab University, Chandigarh.

This had come days after Khattar reiterated Haryana's claim on Chandigarh, asking Punjab to consider making New Chandigarh as its capital.

Khattar had explained that the process of restoration of Haryana's share in the PU was required as over the years the composition and character of Chandigarh had evolved as a larger entity, that is 'trinity'.

Besides, a large number of students from Haryana take admission in various courses of the PU, he had said.

The proposal of the Haryana Government for the restoration of the state's share in the university is "historically, logically, rationally and culturally unsustainable," wrote Amarinder Singh adding that "the state of Haryana cannot arrogate to itself the privilege of altering history as and when it wishes."

The Punjab chief minister pointed out that as per sub-section (4) of section 72 of the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966, the maintenance deficit grants to the university were shared and paid by the states concerned--Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh UT administration in the ratio of 20:20:20:40, respectively.

"The states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh decided to withdraw from this sharing arrangement. The Government of Haryana also withdrew the affiliation of its colleges from the Panjab University and transferred the same to the other universities within Haryana State. These decisions of the Haryana government were unilateral and unconditional.

Thus from 1976 onwards, the state of Punjab and Chandigarh UT administration paid the maintenance deficit grants to the University in the ratio of 40:60, respectively, he said.

"Thereafter, the Government of India vide its notification dated October 27, 1997, ceased the representation of Haryana in various governing bodies of the Panjab University," Punjab chief minister said in the letter.

Amarinder Singh said the University was managing and conducting its financial affairs unilaterally.

"The state government has increased the grant-in-aid from Rs 20 crore to Rs 27 crore during the current financial year, which amounts to an increase of 35 per cent. This substantial increase may not be commensurate with the needs of the Panjab University, but this is due to the reason that there is no bilateral consultative process in place through which the University's financial management is affected," he added.

The need of the hour, said the chief minister, was to create a financial balance through a consultative process, vis-a-vis the university and the Punjab Government, so that a concrete plan or vision document for a reasonable period, for example, 10 years, maybe charted out.

"Notwithstanding the alleged change in the character and composition of Chandigarh into a 'tri-city' (Chandigarh-Panchkula-Mohali), as claimed by Haryana, the unalterable fact is that the 'tri-city' was always in existence even when the state of Haryana decided to de-affiliate its colleges from this university and severed its all linkages with the university," Amarinder Singh said.

He said Haryana withdrew from the arrangements existing at that time on its own will and unilaterally and cannot be allowed to reverse its stand arbitrarily now. The argument of tri-city is not plausible and is an afterthought, asserted Amarinder Singh.

"In view of these circumstances, the Punjab government is of the firm view that no change in the nature and character of this university should be considered," he added.

He also mentioned that the entire territorial jurisdiction and the populace, which the Panjab University is catering to, falls primarily, in Punjab, in addition to the area under the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

Earlier, Amarinder Singh had rejected Khattar's suggestion to set up a statutorily empowered and dedicated board or authority for homogeneous development of Chandigarh, the joint capital of Haryana and Punjab.

Khattar had impressed upon the Centre the need to create a statutorily empowered and dedicated board or authority for homogeneous development of Chandigarh, and the adjoining towns of Panchkula and Mohali.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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