Monday, June 17, 2024

Penalising students for speaking in Punjabi will invite action: CM

No announcement for grants for cash-strapped Punjabi varsity. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today said the state government would cancel the affiliation of schools that penalise students for speaking in Punjabi. He was at Punjabi University here on the concluding day of the three-day inter-university youth festival on Monday. But faculty and employees’ expectations were dashed as the CM failed to make any announcement of grants for the cash-strapped university.
The university’s yearly expenditure on salaries has increased by Rs 100 crore after the implementation of new pay commission scales for employees. It is already paying interest of Rs 1.5 crore per month for availing Rs 150 crore bank loan. The university expects to fall short of Rs 207 crore in meeting its yearly expenditure. Recently, the university had approached the government for grants. Meanwhile, on his second visit here today, the Chief Minister said the state government would cancel affiliation of schools that penalise students for speaking in Punjab. He repeated that the state government would not let the university remain in debt.
The CM said the government was working to ensure skilled development in the state. “Our students should be job providers and not job seekers,” he said and added that the state government was making efforts to develop the state as an industrial hub.
He was joined by Higher Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra, MLAs Ajit Pal Singh Kohli, Balbir Singh and Neena Mittal and others at the function.
Teaching employees said the state grant for the university had reduced drastically. PUTA secretary Maninder Singh said, “In 1991-92, the grant used to be 125 per cent of our total budget. But now, it is merely 44 to 45 per cent of the yearly expenditure. The new pay scales have further increased the university’s burden. We were hopeful that the CM would provide grants, but were left dejected.”
Former general secretary of non-teaching employees Manoj Bhambri said, “We hoping for of an announcement of grants by the CM, but feel disheartened.” Registrar Navjot Kaur said the CM had assured that the government was serious towards the university’s financial issues. “We are thankful that they are thinking about it,” she added.

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