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JAC Challenges Mann Govt for Open Debate on Higher Education, Chalks Out Protest Schedule in Jalandhar By-Election

ASHOK KAURA | April 20, 2023 04:59 PM

JALANDHAR: The Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising of Aided Colleges Managements, Principals Associations of three State Universities, Punjab Chandigarh Colleges Teachers Union (PCCTU) and managements of un-aided colleges today challenged Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann’s government for open debate on the state of higher education in Punjab. They said the state government of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was hell bent to destroy the institutions of higher education.

In an emergent meeting held at Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya (HMV) College, the JAC chalked out the protest schedule for the coming two weeks during the ongoing Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-election. “We will hold protests, organize rallies and meet the party leaders of all the major political parties in the run up to the Lok Sabha by-poll here. The government is failing to address our genuine demands and we have been left with no option but to reach out to the people to protest against AAP’s anti-education policies”, said JAC chief Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina.

He said they have sought time from Chief Minister and Education Minister, Punjab but they have given no heed to their pleas. The three primary demands discussed today were the scrapping of the proposed centralized admission portal for Colleges which they said was being enforced upon the colleges arbitrarily. They termed the portal as discriminatory and being enforced to benefit the private players. They also demanded conversion of all posts into the grant-in-aid schemes and formation of Higher Education Lok Pal.

Giving details of the protest schedule, the JAC office bearers including Dr. S.P.Singh, former VC GNDU, Dr. Vinay Sofat, President PCCTU, general secretary SM Sharma and others decided to continue their boycott of admission through the Centralized Portal, meet Vice Chancellors of GNDU, Amritsar and Panjabi University, Patiala, apprising them about the ill-affect of the portal on colleges financially and administratively while at the same time they appreciated the decision of the Punjab University, Chandigarh not to implement the centralized admission portal.

“We will meet the party candidates of all political parties to convey our message regarding our issues. Then there will be three protest rallies at Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala on April 27, 2023, followed by a massive state level rally cum protest march at Jalandhar on May 4, 2023 against the Punjab government”, said they while addressing the press conference”.

The JAC announced that even if then the government did not wake up they will boycott all the examinations of the three state universities in the days to come. Making an attack on Mann government they said they are failing to understand which model of the education this government was talking about when this government does not have time to meet their delegation. The Education Minister, they said, was giving them no time to discuss the issues confronting the institutions of higher learning.

Principal Dr. Khushwinder Kumar (Patiala University), Principal Dr.Gurdev Singh (GNDU University). PCCTU general secretary Dr. Gurdas Singh Sekhon, Principal Dr. Mehal Singh, Ravinder Joshi and others also discussed the issues.

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