Patiala, November 24:
The Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday paid his maiden visit to the Punjabi University, Patiala and announced the implementation of ‘Punjab Education Model’ across the State besides strengthening the basic infrastructure of the government educational institutions by pulling them out of the financial crisis. Declaring to take over the financial liability of the university to the tune of Rs. 150 crore, the Chief Minister also announced the annual grant of Rs. 240 crore as part of the efforts to bale out the university from the fiscal mess.
Addressing the teachers, employees and the students at Guru Tegh Bahadur hall here, the Chief Minister said that the monthly grant in aid to the university has been increased to the level of Rs. 20 crore which earlier stood at Rs. 9.50 crore.
Lauding the efforts of the Punjabi University to ensure development of Punjabi language besides quality higher education to students from poor economic background, Channi said that the previous governments especially some Chief Ministers didn’t undertake any step to assist the university in tiding over the crisis. “It is for this very reason that the university- a proud flagbearer of Punjabi mother tongue has got entangled in a financial mess of the worst kind”, added the Chief Minister.
Further, the Chief Minister said that during his tenure as the Technical Education Minister, he burnt midnight oil to help wriggle the university, the second university in the world to be named after a language, out of the financial crisis. However, the then Chief Minister didn’t pay any heed. Now that he is the Chief Minister, he is undertaking initiatives to improve the educational infrastructure in the state, said Channi adding having studied in the government schools, colleges and the universities, he is fully conversant of the ground level issues afflicting the government educational institutions which explains why he has taken up cudgels to ensure revival of the university.
Listing other measures, Channi said that the State Government is undertaking herculean efforts to boost the Punjabi language and it is in keeping with this thinking that Punjabi Language Act has been strictly implemented in the state. He also disclosed that all out efforts are afoot to ensure that the government and private education is within the reach of common man.
In his speech, the Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that a history of sorts has been scripted by the Chief Minister who has brought the two decade old issue to a closure within two months of assuming reins of the state and has acted as the savior of the institution which was established to propagate Punjabi language.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister accompanied by the Finance Minister inaugurated the Center for Rural Entrepreneur and Skill Training apart from Center for Restoration of Ecosystem of Punjab. The Chief Minister said that this center speaks volumes about the untiring efforts of the university to explore new avenues in entrepreneurship aimed at generating employment especially in the Malwa region.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Dr. Arvind expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister and the Finance Minister for pulling the university out of the crunch situation and assured that things would not come to such a pass again.