PAU golden jubilee celebrations a sponsored affair, says PAU

Contrary to speculation, the golden jubilee of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the celebrations for which began on January 2 and will end on December 21 with the alumni meet, is all a sponsored affair with nearly nil contribution from the state government.

However, a few of Central and state government agencies have donated some amount to PAU for the celebrations.

Requesting anonymity, a highly placed source from the organising committee, said, "No funds from state government have been used in our celebrations. Neither they gave nor did we ask. We thought it's not appropriate to ask for funds from government keeping in view the tight financial situation the Punjab government is going through. Not even a single penny from the funds we get for research and other works from state government has been used here."

PAU has hosted 24 functions as part of the golden jubilee celebrations to date, and the President visit on Tuesday in an international conference is the 25th in a row which will be followed by a special convocation on December 8 to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"PM visit on convocation meet is purely an annual academic and official function of PAU. It has nothing to do with golden jubilee celebrations. It's just that this year PM will attend it," said the source.

The varsity has played the host to many other high-profile dignitaries this year during the celebrations including Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Dr M S Swaminathan, Union Minister of Agriculture Sharad Pawar and Dr Subrahmaniam Nagarajan.

"Our total budget for the golden jubilee celebrations has come nearly to Rs 1 crore out of which hardly Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh came from state government agencies. The three-day international symposium from November 27 to 29 is all a sponsored show. Contrary to all belief, PAU is spending least on the President visit. Even the food of President is coming from New Delhi as per protocol and all maintenance work and security is being done by district administration. Our expenditure mainly constitutes of the three-day conference arrangements."

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