Wednesday, April 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PAU makes strides under Aulakh
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, April 8
Punjab Agricultural University has witnessed rapid strides during the first two years of the four-year term of the present Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh. The biggest achievement of the Vice-Chancellor has been enforcement of strict discipline on the campus and a check on absenteeism. The university has been witnessing a number of agitations by teachers before the appointment of Dr Aulakh as Vice-Chancellor.

Dr Aulakh who completed two years of his term on March 31 tells that there is no agitation of any sort on the campus at present. The academic environment is very conducive. I am getting the cooperation of the entire faculty and non-teaching staff.

Dr Aulakh says that in view of the changing agricultural scenario, academic programme in the university is being upgraded to produce graduates for the new millennium mission and to equip students to start their own ventures. In future, these graduates need to be job providers instead of job-seekers. They need to be well-versed in science and art of sustainable agriculture and agri-business.

The Vice-Chancellor has reviewed departments of the College of Agricultural Engineering. He is now set to review the departments of the College of Agriculture, Colleges of Basic Sciences and Humanities and the College of Home Science. During the review, the emphasis will be laid on development of globally competitive, cost effective and eco-friendly production technologies, including farm machinery.

Dr Aulakh maintains, “The review programme has been quite successful and all fears of the faculty have been allayed. Earlier there was impression that there would be intimidation and the faculty felt threatened.” The university has strengthened its linkages with other institutions in India and abroad and commercialisation of agricultural education has been given impetus and students were admitted from many SAARC and non-SAARC nations, including Nepal, Thailand, Iran, Bangladesh, Tansania, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the USA. A collaborative programme between the PAU and Ohio State University, the USA, has been revived. Additional linkages with San Jose State University, the USA, and the University of Venda for Science and Technology, the UK, have also been established, he says.

In order to curtail overhead expenses in running of the departments, seven departments in PAU have been merged with other departments.

The Punjab Government has agreed to create a corpus fund of Rs 100 crore in principle which will generate sufficient interest for meeting the emergent research needs of the university. The government has released a sum of Rs 15 crore for the fund.

However, the university has not received Rs 21.7 crore from the government pertaining to the arrears of the staff for the past three years. This money is to go to the provident fund of the university staff. The facelift of the university campus has begun with funds worth Rs 96 lakh provided by the Punjab Mandi Board 



PCCTU seeks CM’s intervention
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Association has urged Capt Amarinder Singh to resolve the financial crisis which the colleges were facing following the 20 per cent cut in their grant in the current financial year.

Prof Kanwaljit Singh, zonal secretary, said many colleges in the state had not been able to pay salaries to their teachers for the past six months. He also called upon Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, to clarify his stand on the issue of cut in grants to private colleges. He said the minister was issuing contradictory statements in the media and creating confusion among the teaching community.

Prof Kanwaljit Singh called for urgent intervention of the Chief Minister, failing which, he said, college teachers would be forced to intensify their struggle. He once again stated that college teachers all over the state would boycott the ongoing university examinations on April 16, go on casual leave and hold a protest rally at the Matka Chowk in Chandigarh. The federations of principals as well as managements would also support the rally, he added. 



5000 students for talent hunt contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
Nearly 5000 students of Classes IX and X from over 16 schools of the city will participate in a talent hunt contest to be organised by Steps, a coaching centre, to be held on April 27.

Mr Rajesh Wadhera, in charge of the centre, said that the test would help students to know their general aptitude and intelligent quotient and accordingly orient themselves towards National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) to be held in October this year. He said that the students would compete in a mock test at the city-level exactly on the lines of real test.


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