Punjab govt promulgates ordinance to repeal Khalsa university act to protect glorious heritage of Khalsa college

Chandigarh: The Captain Amarinder Singh led government on Thursday promulgated an order to repeal the Khalsa University Act, 2016, with a view to protecting the heritage character of Khalsa College, Amritsar.

The promulgation orders were issued here by Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore under clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of lndia, thereby implementing a decision taken in April by the state cabinet and also the Chief Minister’s promise to protect the glorious legacy of the 125-year-old Khalsa College.

Higher Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary said the Khalsa College, Amritsar had, over a period of time, become a significant icon of Khalsa Heritage and the University established in 2016 is likely to shadow and damage its character and pristine glory. Therefore, the Act ibid is proposed to be withdrawn, she said in a Statement of Objects & Reasons.

The Ordinance provides that admission to the affected students shall be given in other appropriate educational institutions of the State of Punjab as per their eligibility, so that the interests of the students are not prejudicially affected.

The state cabinet, during its April meeting, had also decided to ensure that the students are accommodated in some other college at par, after taking their choice into consideration, to ensure that the future of the 300 students already admitted in the University is not jeopardized.

The Ordinance, called the Khalsa University (Repeal) Ordinance, 2017, will come into force on and with effect from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

The Khalsa University, Amritsar, was established vide Khalsa University Act, 2016 by the previous SAD-BJP alliance government despite huge criticism from not only the residents of Amritsar but also from the alumni of the college and intellectuals of the state. Chief Minister Captain Amarinder had all along maintained that the move by the Khalsa College Society to destroy its rich heritage status by converting this prestigious institution into University was `appalling’.

The government also felt that there was no point in establishing an additional university in Amritsar, which already had several reputed institutions of higher learning. While the Guru Nanak Dev University has won wide acclaim and recognition at the national level, the Sri Guru Ram Dass University of Health Sciences and the Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar, were also amongst the institutions of national repute.

It was strongly felt that taking away a chunk of land from Khalsa College to make a University would adversely affect the existence of Khalsa College. Further, the unique identity of its building will also be diminished, with its architectural grandeur and marvel getting destroyed in the process.