Channi announced strengthening the basic infrastructure of the government educational institutions “by pulling them out of the financial crisis”.
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Declaring to take over the financial liability of the university to the tune of Rs 150 crore, the chief minister also announced to increase the annual grant from Rs 114 crore to Rs 240 crore as part of the efforts to bail out the university from the fiscal mess, according to an official statement.
Lauding the Punjabi University for its efforts to ensure development of Punjabi language besides quality higher education to students from poor economic background, Channi said, “The previous governments, especially some chief ministers, didn’t undertake any step to assist the university in tiding over the financial crisis”.
“It is for this very reason that the university — a proud flagbearer of Punjabi mother tongue — has got entangled in a financial mess of the worst kind,” the chief minister added.
Channi said during his tenure as the Technical Education Minister (in the previous Amarinder Singh-led cabinet), he burnt the midnight oil to help the university get out of the financial crisis.
“However, the then chief minister did not pay any heed (to it),” he said, without naming his predecessor Amarinder Singh.
Channi said having studied in government schools, colleges and the universities, he is fully conversant of the ground level issues afflicting these educational institutions.
Listing other measures, Channi said the state government is making efforts to boost the Punjabi language and it is in keeping with this thinking that the Punjabi Language Act has been strictly implemented in the state.
On the occasion, the chief minister accompanied by Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal inaugurated the Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship and Skill Training.
Channi said this centre “speaks volumes about the untiring efforts of the university to explore new avenues in entrepreneurship aimed at generating employment”.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Dr. Arvind also spoke on the occasion.