Monday, July 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Evaluate working of PAU’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
Dr Balwant Singh, convenor of the kisan cell of the Nationalist Congress Party, has supported the stand of Mr Sunil Jakhar, MLA from Abohar, in the Vidhan Sabha about the PAU during the course of a debate on June 26 that the PAU had failed to tackle problems of agricultural sector.

In a statement issued to the Press, Dr Balwant Singh said that he agreed with Mr Jakhar on the point that there is an urgent need to critically evaluate the performance of PAU. The NCP leader, in his letter addressed to the MLA, said that the PAU, which had been rightly credited with bringing about the Green Revolution, has fallen on bad days, thanks to the failure of the organisation.

He stated that since the early nineties, the PAU has been lacking a leader to provide the required exemplary leadership. He said that the previous SAD-BJP government had appointed Dr G.S. Kalkat, who was well past 70, as Vice-Chancellor in April 1998. Unable to discharge duties effectively, he abdicated his authority to his close kin, Dr K S Aulakh, who was then working as Director, Research, in the PAU.

An ‘illegal’ post of Pro-VC was created in violation of the PAU Act and Aulakh was appointed against it on 9.11.1998. Subsequently, Aulakh was elevated to the post of VC w.e.f. April 1, 2001. The post of pro-VC was later abolished since there is no provision for it in the PAU Act. Dr Aulakh held the office of the pro-VC illegally for 16 months from 9.11.1999 to 31.3.2001.

He further stated that there is an urgent need to stem the rot that has set in the PAU. He urged Mr Jakhar to prevail upon the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to order an impartial high-level inquiry into the working of the PAU.



PAUTA condemns Jakhar’s statement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 30
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers association (PAUTA) has taken strong exception to the statement of Mr Sunil Jakhar made in the Punjab Assembly suggesting closure of PAU.

The office-bearers of PAUTA, in a press note issued here, said it was as a result of the adoption of the technologies developed by the university that the Punjab farmers were producing 10 per cent of the milk, about 20 per cent of honey and 10 per cent of the total egg production in the country. They said with only 1.5 per cent of the geographical area of the country, Punjab was producing 20 per cent of wheat and 9 per cent of rice and had been contributing 40 to 50 per cent of rice and 50 to 60 per cent of wheat to the Central pool for the past two decades.

The root cause of a majority of agricultural problems in the state was the lack of infrastructure for processing and marketing, they said. The excellence of the university had been recognised by the Central Government by adjudging it through the ICAR as the best university in the country. The graduates of this university were proving themselves second to none at the national and international levels, they added. The high-yielding varieties and other technologies developed by the university were mainly responsible for bringing Punjab at the top in the country in agricultural development, they said.

They urged that the politicians should desist from making such irresponsible statements. About Jakhar’s statement, they said “This shows nothing but ignorance of Mr Jakhar about the role of the university in moving the country from the stage of begging for food to a food-surplus country”.

“PAUTA has also received messages from a large number of progressive farmers condemning the statement of Mr Jakhar. They include Mr Avtar Singh Rataul, present president, and Mr Amarjit Singh Sandhu, Mr Jaswant Singh Natt and Mr Darshan Singh Tabiba, former presidents of the Punjab Kisan Club. The progressive Dairy farmers, Mr Randhir Singh Rode and Ms Randhir Kaur, have termed the statement of Mr Jakhar as irresponsible, they added.


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