Chandigarh:  To mark the 400th Prakash Purb of Guru Tegh Bahadur, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday virtually laid the foundation stone of the Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur State University of Law in Tarn Taran town, and directed the Finance Department to ensure sufficient funds for timely operationalisation of the institution.

On the occasion, he also launched commemorative gold and silver coins to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Making it clear that shortage of finances would not be allowed to hold up education projects in the state, the Chief Minister termed it the most important focus area to enable the youth of Punjab to compete with the world.

He lauded the department concerned for enabling the state to become number one in education in the country.

Citing education as a priority sector, the Chief Minister said after achieving top position in school education, his next aim is to make Punjab number one in higher education and technical education also.

In line with his government’s thrust on education, Amarinder Singh said he will inaugurate 18 new fully functional degree colleges and 25 ITIs on October 2.

“Education must keep pace with times, ” he stressed, underscoring the need for constant evolution to ensure that education does not become irrelevant in the coming decades.

Though law degrees are also being conferred by the Guru Nanak Dev University, Punjabi University, and Panjab University, apart from law being taught in about 30 colleges of the state, there was only one law university — the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law in Patiala — in the state so far, he pointed out, adding this new university will enable specialised law courses to be offered to the state’s youth.

Amarinder Singh said the classes of the upcoming university would be started in a transit campus till the time the main campus is ready, for which 25 acre land has been earmarked in Kairon village.

He said with this university coming up at Kairon village was a real tribute to former Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon, who was the architect of modern Punjab and credited with setting up Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, which ushered in the ‘Green Revolution’.

Listing some of the recent initiatives undertaken by his government in the higher education sector, the Chief Minister said that the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University, Patiala, Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University, Patiala, Amity University and Plaksha University, have been established in Mohali.

He said that the process to fill 931 posts of assistant professors in government colleges is already underway.

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