College row takes new turn
Amritsar March 18:
The controversy surrounding the proposed conversion of Khalsa College into a private university today took a new turn after the Chancellor of the college’s governing council, Raj Mohinder Singh Majitha, claimed that he was never taken into confidence by the managing committee.
In a statement issued here today, Majitha said, I am deeply anguished by the media reports that the very existence of Khalsa College is at stake and it is being turned into a private university. Khalsa College is an institution of the entire Sikh community besides being the first and the biggest centre of Sikhism. Its governing council is elected by the voters across India.” He said he had time and again asked the managing committee to provide him the details of the university project submitted to the government, but till date these had not reached him.
“Moreover, the annual grant of around Rs 8 crore will also stop.” He appealed to the council to bring in transparency in the project to address people’s doubts. On the other hand, college governing council’s honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina said they had passed a resolution in this regard in the governing council and the managing committee and they had kept Majitha in the loop regarding the agenda and proceedings of their meetings. He also allayed the teachers’ apprehensions over discontinuation of the annual grant-in-aid worth Rs 5 crore, stating that grants had totally stopped since 2005.
“Earlier, we had 140 posts of aided teachers, but as the teachers are getting retired, no fresh recruitment is taking place. As a result of this, we are now left with 87 aided teachers.” Gunbir Singh, Finance Secretary of the governing council, said, “The college has an annual budget of Rs 70 crore and it is not surviving just on Rs 5 crore grant-in-aid from the government. We still have various grants available to assist and develop the institution.”
Meanwhile, the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union led by its general secretary, Prof HS Walia, joined the college faculty in their protest. Though the college was shut today, the teachers held a rally on its premises and tried unsuccessfully to force their entry into the residence of Principal Daljit Singh.