AMARINDER WRITES TO VICE PRESIDENT SEEKING EARLY POLLS TO PANJAB UNIVERSITY SENATE
Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) : Citing improvement in the state’s Covid situation, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has written to Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Chancellor of Panjab University, seeking early elections to the University senate, since the inexplicable delay in polling was causing resentment among various constituents of the institution.
In a DO letter to the Chancellor, the Chief Minister has urged him to advise the Panjab University Administration and the Administration of the Union Territory of Chandigarh for proper and timely conduct of elections to the Senate of the University.
Stressing that failure to conduct elections to the University Senate, whose current term ended on October 31, was not only annoying but was also against the cannons of any good governance and the Law, the Chief Minister said “there is a substantial resentment amongst the teachers, professionals, technical members, graduates of the University and representatives of various constituencies for the Senate elections.” Besides, there are legislators from the Punjab State Legislative Assembly and ex-officio members, such as Chief Minister, Education Minister, and DPI (Colleges) of the State, who represent the Government of Punjab, he pointed out, adding that it was hence strongly felt that elections should have been held without any delay.
Noting that the University Administration and Government of India felt that the situation was not conducive to hold elections due to the pandemic Covid-19, Captain Amarinder said the situation has improved and elections to the Parliament, Legislative Assemblies, and various other urban and rural local bodies have been held across the nation. “True, there is a need to ensure compliance of the protocol that has been evolved in the last few months to contain the pandemic and there should be no reason for the University Administration and even the Administration of Union Territory of Chandigarh or the State Government not to comply with these,” he added.
The Chief Minister pointed out that ever since the University was set up, its Senate was constituted after every four years, with the members elected through a democratic process. Strangely, the elections to the Senate have not been conducted, though over the last six decades these were held regularly in the months of August - September of relevant year, he said, adding that in a situation when the Senate is not constituted, the Syndicate of the University would also not be constituted as its term ends on December 31, 2020.
Referring to the statutes of the University’s mandate to hold the elections every fourth year, Captain Amarinder Singh said these should be held immediately without any further delay. ‘‘There may, of course, be a need for some reforms for the administration of the University, but they may, if so required, be pursued with the active participation of all stakeholders including the elected Senate of the University and the Syndicate so constituted in keeping with the existing provisions of the Panjab University Act, its regulations and statutes. While the reforms would be welcome, there is no reason to amend any of the time-tested legislations, regulations, or statutes governing the University,’’ read the letter.
Notably, Panjab University was constituted under the Punjab University Act, 1947 (Act VII of 1947). The University was established to compensate the State of Punjab for the loss of its main University at Lahore subsequent to the partition of the country in 1947. After bifurcation of the State in 1966, the Punjab Reorganization Act 1966 maintained its status, meaning thereby that the University continued to function as it was and its jurisdiction over the areas that were comprised in the present State of Punjab continued as such.