The incident at Chandigarh University girls’ hostel wherein an alleged video scam caught the national attention is quite unfortunate. It would have deeply affected the victims and their parents and families. The non-victims’ families would also be affected with a sense of insecurity. But does it make the parents of female students of other universities also worry? Yes! And of course, especially in the case of the students studying anywhere in Chandigarh, the parents are definitely worried. The same thing applies to the case of Panjab University which is a government university located in the heart of Chandigarh with its main campus in Sector 14 and 25.
Through this write-up I would first like to make it clear to the parents of all students and scholars that Chandigarh University and Panjab University are two different universities. Chandigarh University is a private university established through Punjab State Act no. 7 of 2012 on 10 July, 2012 while Panjab University is the only State University located in Chandigarh that is enlisted on the website of the UGC.
Chandigarh University has clearly mentioned on its website under the link https://www.cuchd.in/recognitions-and-approvals/ that “Note: Although CU endeavours to ensure the accuracy of this information, there is no guarantee it will remain accurate all year. Applicants are advised to confirm program details before making an application.” It means that they are not sure about their status and their course recognition anytime. You will not find every detail correct on the website of this private university, i.e., http://www.cuchd.in. The university was first a group of colleges known as Chandigarh Group of Colleges like any other group of colleges in Punjab, Haryana or other parts of the country. But after the establishment of Chandigarh University under the governance of the Trust namely Chandigarh Educational Trust in 2012, there has been nomenclature confusion, as many people including students and parents think of admitting their children in the university based on its name. In fact, some of the people think that Chandigarh University is Panjab University, the one located in Sector 14 and 25 of Chandigarh. But it is not so.
In Chandigarh there is one deemed university namely Panjab Engineering College with website http://www.pec.ac.in and a state university namely Panjab University http://www.puchd.ac.in. Chandigarh University is a different and private university located at Gharuan in Mohali (Punjab) which is around 25km away from Chandigarh. The registration of name as Chandigarh University has actually created a confusion which puts the parents of the students studying at Panjab University in trouble as they think that they are studying in Chandigarh University. This nomenclature issue should have been tackled at the time of registration, inspection and recognition of the university by the authorities concerned.
Normally, there is a naming guideline for NGOs, Firms and Companies etc, that their name should not include the name of the major cities or countries like India, Delhi, etc. One of the problems that it may create is clear from the episode of alleged Chandigarh University Hostel scam. UGC must rethink and not allow the universities to be named on the basis of the cities and important towns as it may degrade the image of the city and other universities at the location if something wrong happens ever.
Now when I have tried to make the readers clear that Chandigarh University is a private university not located in Chandigarh, I as a research scholar of Panjab University must also put it here that Panjab University is the only state university located in Chandigarh. There is a Punjabi University located in Patiala and Central university of Punjab located in Bathinda which also must not be confused with Panjab University.
The name of the Panjab University has spelling of “Panjab” instead of “Punjab” as it helps in differentiating it with the one in the name of Punjab University which is located in Pakistan (established in 1882). In independent India, Panjab University with its campus at Chandigarh and nearly two-hundred colleges in Punjab state and Chandigarh U.T., has served various societal needs with distinction. Panjab University is spread across an area of almost 550 acres. The University campus has 8 hostels for boys, 9 hostels for girls, a Working Women’s Hostel and 2 sports hostels. Panjab University is one of the top and oldest universities of India while as Chandigarh University is a private university with just a decade of existence. Panjab University is accredited with a CGPA of 3.35 on a four-point scale at A Grade which is valid up to 24/06/2022 and was ranked 1st in ARIIA Ranking 2021 amongst University & Deemed to be University (Government & Government Aided) (Technical). International Ranking Agency “The Times Higher Education (WUR)” ranked Panjab University as 4th amongst Indian institutes / universities in 2019-2020.
All universities in India must ensure safety in the campus or hostels and the authorities must hasten action in case of Chandigarh University. The university name should also be changed as it tarnishes the image of the Panjab University and makes the families of thousands of students who study in and around Chandigarh worry. The unfortunate incident at Chandigarh University which is actually located 25 km away from Chandigarh has somehow affected the image of “the city beautiful – Chandigarh” and all other universities located in or around Chandigarh also.
The writer is a research scholar at Panjab University Chandigarh, and can be mailed at [email protected]