Announcing the implementation of ‘Punjab Education Model’ across the State besides strengthening basic infrastructure of Government educational institutions by pulling them out of the financial crisis, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Wednesday declared to take over Punjabi University, Patiala’s Rs 150 crore financial liability besides announcing Rs 240 crore annual grant.
Channi, who paid his maiden visit to the Punjabi University, addressed the teachers, employees, and the students. He declared that the monthly grant-in-aid to the university has been increased to the level of Rs 20 crore which earlier stood at Rs 9.50 crore.
Lauding the efforts of the Punjabi University to ensure development of Punjabi language besides quality higher education to students from poor economic background, Channi said that the previous governments, especially some Chief Ministers, didn’t undertake any step to assist the University in tiding over the crisis. “It is for this very reason that the university – a proud flag-bearer of Punjabi mother tongue – has got entangled in a financial mess of the worst kind,” he added.
The Chief Minister said that during his tenure as the Technical Education Minister, he burnt midnight oil to help wriggle the University, which is second in the world to be named after a language, out of the financial crisis. “However, the then Chief Minister didn’t pay any heed. Now that I am the Chief Minister, I am undertaking initiatives to improve the educational infrastructure in the State,” said Channi adding that having studied in the government schools, colleges, and the universities, he is fully conversant of the ground-level issues afflicting the government educational institutions which explains why he has taken up cudgels to ensure revival of the university.
Listing other measures, Channi said that the State Government is undertaking herculean efforts to boost the Punjabi language and it is in keeping with this thinking that Punjabi Language Act has been strictly implemented in the State. He also disclosed that all out efforts are afoot to ensure that the government and private education is within the reach of common man.
The state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said that a history of sorts has been scripted by the Chief Minister who has brought the two-decade-old issue to a closure within two months of assuming reins of the State, and has acted as the saviour of the institution which was established to propagate Punjabi language.