Chandigarh, ( Mahinder Pal ) : On the one hand where entire World is fighting against the Pandemic COVID-19 and the Centre Govt is finding ways to save the organizations while on the other hand it seems that Department of Agriculture & Farmer welfare, Govt of Punjab is likely to shut 112 agriculture colleges of Punjab from the session 2020-21
Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising 1600 Unaided colleges of Punjab urged the Punjab govt to give extension of approval for at least a year to the agriculture colleges by a year so that students can take admission in the 2020-21 session.
IKG-PTU has not given continuation letter to affiliated colleges
In a letter dated 06.05.2020, IKG-PTU, Jalandhar has not given approval for continuation of B.Sc Agriculture course to its affiliated colleges.
Colleges running agriculture courses fulfilling the norms of Govt Universities
Dr. Gurmeet Singh Dhaliwal, Director, JAC & President, Punjab Unaided Technical Institutions Association (PUTIA) said that these Colleges of Punjab started this course as per the rules laid down for B.Sc Agriculture by Panjab University Chandigarh, Punjabi University Patiala, IKG-PTU Jalandhar and MRS-PTU Bathinda. Later, a new act was enacted in Punjab Assembly to regulate the agriculture education of Punjab. A new council i.e Punjab State Council for Agricultural Education was established under this act.
Over 3000 employees of Agri colleges would go unemployed
Dr. Anshu Kataria, Spokesperson, JAC & President, Punjab Unaided Colleges Association (PUCA) said that it was very shocking as the State was imparting education to around 25,000-30,000 students of agriculture and has given employment to over 3000 employees of the State. If these colleges would get shut then a big number of employees would turn unemployed.
Relief couldn’t be given to the Colleges because of shutdown due to Coronavirus
Sh. Manjit Singh, Director, JAC & Senior Vice President, PUTIA said that in the last 6 months many meetings of the association were held expecting the issue to get resolved. But amid Coronavirus, no final decision could be taken yet so the Govt is requested to continue the affiliation till the next year.
Future of 112 Agri colleges on stake
Sh. Rashpal singh Dhaliwal, PUTIA urged CM Punjab to intervene into the matter so that 112 colleges of Punjab could be saved from the closure. Rashpal said that we are affiliated with State Affiliating Universities like IKG-PTU, MRS-PTU and Punjabi University and we are following the norms of these degree-granting Universities. These new rules should be applicable to new colleges not existing.
Agriculture course has added revenue to the State
Sh. Amit Sharma, Senior Vice President, PUCA said that Punjab is an agriculture State and students of many other States come for their agriculture education which increases the State’s revenue. The closure of these institutions would result in huge financial loss to Punjab exchequer.
Does a college need to buy more land in Punjab to run a course?
- Sukhmander Singh Chatha, Punjab Unaided Degree Colleges Association (PUDCA) & Director, JAC said that when one affiliating University has given the approval to run B.Sc Agriculture course in 5-acre land then how a new body can increase the land requirement from 5 acres to 50 acres? Chatha further questioned that does a college need to buy 45 acres more land to run a course in a landlocked state like Punjab?
JAC urged CM Punjab to intervene and to instruct the affiliating Universities for the continuation of affiliation of agriculture courses for at least a year.
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