Set up by the previous SAD-BJP regime, Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University (MRSSTU) here is staring at an uncertain future ever since the state government has asked technical colleges to opt between it and IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala.
It was in June 2014 that the previous SAD-BJPgovernment had set up a technical university on the campus of Giani Zail Singh Engineering College here. As per the MRSSTU Bathinda Act passed in the Assembly in 2015, colleges in Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Muktsar, Patiala and Sangrur districts were transferred to this university.
However, things changed with the return of the Congress to power earlier this year. Initially, there were murmurs that “there was no need for two technical universities in a small state like Punjab”. Later, in its meeting on October 16, the Cabinet decided to give a chance to colleges to opt for either of the two universities. Now, there are reports that most of the colleges are opting for the IKG-PTU.
Meanwhile, a section of academicians has expressed its reservations over the state government move. Talking to The Tribune, former Guru Nanak Dev University Vice Chancellor SP Singh said there was no academic or administrative parameter to the decision. He said all universities in the country had their jurisdiction clearly defined and nowhere the colleges were given option to choose the university they wished to affiliate to. “Will they now allow GNDU colleges to go with Panjab University and the ones with Panjab University to go with Punjabi University, Patiala,” he wondered.
Principal, Malwa College, Bathinda, Prof NK Gosain termed it a retrograde step, stating that the colleges in the region should rather be told to get affiliated with MRSSTU just as various educational institutions in the state were affiliated to GNDU, Panjab University and Punjabi University based on jurisdiction of these varsities.
According to him, the two universities can co-exist and have healthy competition.
Technical Education Minister Charanjit Channi said, “We are implementing the orders of the High Court by giving the colleges a one-time option to choose between the two universities.” He clarified that none of the colleges was being forced to opt for a particular university.
26 Feb 2020
27 Feb 2020