PU unites six centers under one roof


Panjab University (PU) has completed the consolidation of six of its centers, which have been brought together under the umbrella of the Multidisciplinary Center for Education and Research.

The Center for Social Work, Center for Human Rights and Duties, Center for Police Administration, Department with Center for Women’s Studies and Development, University Institute of Fashion Technology and Professional Development (UIFT & VD) and Department for Lifelong Learning and Extension were consolidated on the recommendations of a college board.

The order from the Dean’s Office for University Teaching (DUI) states that the move will facilitate the sharing of physical and intellectual resources. “They may jointly offer value-added and skill-enhancing courses in addition to the doctoral courses,” the regulation says, adding that a coordinating committee with six chairmen of the six related departments as members will oversee coordination and joint academic and extracurricular activities.

In 2015, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) recommended the consolidation of small related departments for effective and efficient teaching, learning, and research. As the varsity prepares for the next round of accreditation, officials gave the go-ahead for the merger earlier this year. The plan has been on hold for the last few years.

The chair of one of the centers, who requested anonymity, said: “NAAC had recommended consolidating the small related divisions, but these centers are unrelated. This consolidation will weaken the centers.”

Similar concerns were raised during the recent Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) Members Meeting, held last month. The House had decided that no such move to merge departments or centers could be initiated without the active participation of the chairpersons or coordinators concerned, their faculty and the PUTA representative.

Contact the language departments soon

A sub-committee had also suggested merging small language departments. However, the university has yet to announce its consolidation. However, a committee member said an order to that effect would be issued soon.

The sub-committee had proposed using Art Block 5, which has around 18 rooms, to house the various small language departments. The small language sections include Chinese and Tibetan, Russian, German and French.


    Dar Ovais is a Chandigarh-based correspondent in charge of higher education for the Hindustan Times.
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