Chandigarh: The Punjab government has sought the intervention of the central government on the controversy over the Thapar University in Patiala abolishing the 50 percent reservation quota in its courses for students of the state.
In a letter to union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Thursday, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal urged the central government to immediately issue directions to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Thapar University, a deemed university, to maintain territorial quota of 50 percent in Punjab as prevalent in the past.
Badal sought Sibal’s personal intervention to redress the grievance of the state.
“I urge you to ensure that no step motherly treatment was meted out to Punjab students by the Thapar University or UGC,” Badal wrote.
Badal apprised the minister that at a meeting of the board of governors (BOGs) of Thapar University, a decision was taken Feb 24, citing UGC guidelines, to abolish the 50 percent quota in engineering and other technical courses for Punjab students.
He said that till now, the seats were being filled up out of the quota meant for students belonging to Punjab state.
Badal pointed out that Thapar University (earlier Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology), which had come up as an institute of excellence, was solely on account of contributions made by Punjab government by giving them grant-in-aid and the other financial assistance under various government schemes.
Badal bemoaned that with this decision of the BOGs, the interests of the students of Punjab had been compromised. He said that this was, in no way, acceptable to the state of Punjab. He said that the BOG approved the decision without intimation to the state government or getting its consent.
The chief minister noted that the other deemed universities like National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jalandhar and Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Longowal, were continuing with the 50 percent seats reserved for Punjab students under UGC guidelines only.
He pointed out that in Chandigarh, a union territory which is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, the PEC University of Technology, another deemed university, was also having 50 percent quota for Chandigarh students.
The Thapar University is a leading institute for engineering and technology courses. It has its own sprawling campus at Patiala town, 80 km from Chandigarh.