Chandigarh: Youth Akali Dal (YAD) President Parambans Singh Romana today demanded the Panjab University withdraw the Chancellor’s High Level Committee report which was aimed at handing over the university to the RSS-BJP combine as well as ending its democratic and elective nature immediately failing which the YAD and the Students Organization of India (SOI) would hold a massive protest in front of the vice chancellor’s office on July 12.
Addressing a press conference here along with PU Students Council President Chetan Chaudhary, the YAD President said, “we will not tolerate any step to reduce the territorial jurisdiction of the University to the outskirts of the union territory as proposed by the High Level Committee by disaffiliating nearly 200 colleges spread over seven districts in the State in the Malwa belt.”
Parambans Romana also demanded immediate elections to the varsity’s Senate and Syndicate. He said Vice Chancellor Dr Raj Kumar was even trying to sidestep the directions of the high court to take out a schedule for holding of the elections by sending letters to the Punjab, Haryana and Himachal governments asking whether elections should be held in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Both Haryana and Himachal have BJP governments and we know they will work as per the wishes of the Vice Chancellor who is not holding elections to the two autonomous bodies deliberately to bring the varsity directly under RSS-BJP control,” .
The YAD also demanded that since earlier the Chancellor of the University used to be the Governor of Punjab and an interim order had given this charge to the Vice President, the same should be rescinded.
Giving details, Romana said vice chancellor Dr Raj Kumar was directly responsible for changing the character of the University in league with the RSS and the BJP.
“It is clear that the RSS wants to use the University to brainwash the youth of the region as per the agenda of the RSS,” he said.
He said it was with this in mind that the character of both the Senate and the Syndicate were proposed to be changed by the High Level Committee.
“Under the new proposal the Senate, which is a fifteen member body of members elected from the registered graduates’ constituency, will be whittled down to four members all of whom will be nominated by the vice Chancellor. Similarly in case of the Syndicate, which is the highest decision making body of the University, the new proposals aim to reduce the strength from 18 to 13 including ten nominated members and three ex-officio members. Presently all 18 members of the Senate are elected,” he said.
Romana also came down heavily on the Punjab government for failing to protect the interests of Punjab. He said even though the proposals had been sent to the DPI, Colleges Paramjit Singh for comments they were not acted upon on the plea that due to Covid-19 no feedback had been received from the higher authorities.
“Later the DPI gave a lukewarm reply saying few members of the Senate could be elected but nevertheless the recommendations should be considered. This amounts to selling off the interests of Punjabis and proves that the Congress government in Punjab is hand in glove with the central government on this issue,” he said.
Condemning the vice chancellor for visiting the RSS office on the very day he took over the reins of the University, Romana said Dr Raj Kumar had steadily weakened the democratic institutions during the last four years.
He said first Senate and Syndicate meetings were not called. Both institutions were allowed to lapse with elections to the bodies not being held on the pretext of Covid-19.
“Following this the sinister plot to change the very character of the Senate and Syndicate was executed in November last year and the Committee made its recommendations without taking adequate feedback from students, teachers or alumni,” he said.
He said the Punjab government was part of this conspiracy to end the independent nature of the University as its two members who were part of the committee did not raise a single word of protest against the draconian recommendations.