Chandigarh, Punjab: Thapar University has agreed to restore the 50 per cent quota for Punjab students for now and will take up the issue afresh in the next meeting of its Board of Governors (BOG).
The university today handed over a letter from its director Abhijit Mukherjee to Principal Secretary, Technical Education, SS Channy in this regard. The university has agreed to bury the quota issue for this academic session only.
The university said the decision had been taken in deference to the wishes of the state government and without going into the legality of the issue.
In the letter, the university pointed out that minutes of the meeting, which was to be held on February 24, were sent to the office of the Principal Secretary, Technical Education. Principal secretaries of the Technical Education and Finance are the state government’s nominees on the BOG. The university maintained that both nominees were unable to attend the meeting.
Channy, when questioned on the issue, said he could not answer why the then officers did not attend the meeting of the Board of Governors. He said the university had been asked to state its compulsion if any from either the UGC or the Union Government so that the state government could deal with the same appropriately. Channy maintained that the quota system was prevalent in other institutions in Punjab and Chandigarh besides other states.
The university maintained that the action was taken to give national colour to the university. It says Clause 15 of the UGC (Institutes Deemed to be University) Regulations, 2010 provides that admission in an institution should be open to all citizens irrespective of area of residence. Keeping in view these reasons, the BOG decided to fill seats for engineering courses on the basis of AIEEE.
In a statement here, the government claimed the quota had been restored following “persuasion” from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Sources maintained the hard stand taken by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on the issue also forced the Thapar managment to review its decision.
The state government says Thapar is honour-bound to reserve seats for Punjab students as the university has come up on 250 acres of land given by the state besides grant-in-aid till 2001. Thapar maintains that it does not get grant-in-aid. It, moreover, claims grant-in-aid cannot be linked to quota, saying Panjab University gets 40 per cent grant from Punjab but does not have any quota for Punjab students.