Punjabi University Patiala, one of the premier institutions of higher education in the north of India, was established on the 30th April, 1962 under the Punjabi University Act 1961. This is the second University in the world to be named after a language, the first being Hebrew University of Israel. Although initially the main task before the University was to develop and promote the language of the Punjabi people, it has since evolved into a multi-faceted, multi-faculty educational institution with over fifty five teaching and research departments covering disciplines in Humanities and in Sciences as diverse as Fine Arts and Space Physics.
The University has a modern well planned campus located about seven kilometers from the Patiala city, called the City of Gardens. The campus is spread over about 320 acres with imposing buildings in lush green, pollution- free environment away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The University also has three regional centres namely The Guru Kashi Regional Centre at Bathinda, The Guru Kashi Campus at Talwandi Sabo and The Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan Institute of Advanced Studies in Urdu, Persian and Arabic at Malerkotla.
Punjabi University, Patiala, has set up an Extension Centre for computer education at Jaito. The University has established a well stocked Extension Library at Mohali. The Mohali centre also has a fully equipped Computer Centre which runs PGDCA course.
The University has undertaken the responsibility of maintaining the estate of Dr. Norah Richards at Andretta in Himachal Pradesh. The buildings of the estate have been renovated keeping the original architecture intact. Arrangements have been made for the comfortable stay of faculty members and students who wish to carry out study and research in the field of Theatre and Television. The Department of Theatre and Television arranges theatre performances at Andretta every year.
The University also manages Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra at Dehradun. There is a rich library with rare books and manuscripts bequeathed by Bhai Vir Singh, Dr. Balbir Singh and Prof. Puran Singh, the doyens of Punjabi literature. Research on comparative religions is carried out at this Centre and the Punjabi University has provided all necessary facilities for scholars. The University Campus at Patiala makes available international standard facilities for students and researchers.
Punjabi University Library is a hub of academic and research activities. It is housed in a spacious modern building and stocks more than 4,15,000 books and subscribes to several hundred journals. Latest books are added regularly every year. Library is kept open for 360 days of the year from 8.15 a.m. to 8.15 p.m. The library has a majestic reading hall, which has a capacity for 400 readers where they can sit and consult reference books and other relevant literature. A separate air-conditioned hall for using the personal books and a Reading Room has been provided at the ground floor. One night Reading Room remains open from 8.00 p.m. to 12.00 p.m. To further modernize University Library services, it is being computerized.
Punjabi Reference Library, which is an integral part of the library, is housed in a new building interlinked with the main building for the convenience of the staff and the users. This part of the library has 41,548 books on Punjabi Language, Literature, Punjab History and Culture.
The University Library is also maintaining libraries in some of the Departments at the Campus, Extension Library at S.A.S. Nagar Phase 7, Mohali, and a Library at Regional Centre Bathinda. Besides, Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra, Dehradun has a rich Library containing rare books and manuscripts.
The Computer Centre has established a local area network and all university Departments enjoy the facilities of Internet and e-mail through this network. The Centre as well as the teaching Departments are equipped with the latest computers and software.
The University Computer Centre and Department of Computer Science & Engineering alone have over 150 PCs and Servers. Peripherals such as printers, plotters, scanners, multimedia equipment etc. are available in large numbers. Many Departments of the University, viz. Physics, Mathematics, Management, Economics, Journalism, have their own large computer laboratories. Nodal lab in the Department of Chemistry which caters to the needs of half a dozen Departments and Central Library which has a very effective computer section are connected under Local Area Network (LAN). Computer Centre is providing Internet and e-mail services through this LAN. Internet and e-mail services are being provided via 2 Mbps connectivity from M/s Sab Infotech (Glide) through radio modem. These facilities are being provided to more than 40 Departments/offices of the University having 300 computers connected under LAN. More than 800 e-mail accounts have been allotted to faculty and staff members. The University has its own website- www.universitypunjabi.org., which is being maintained by the Centre. The website provides rich information about the University which is not only beneficial for the University community but also for the outside world. The University Computer Centre has recently established another laboratory for Internet access. Established with the assistance from UGC, the lab was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor, Shri S.S. Boparai, Kirti Chakra, Padam Shri, on January 16, 2003. The laboratory caters to the needs of students, staff and wards of the staff of the University. As suggested by the UGC, the lab is being run on payment basis, although the payment is not much (Rs. 10/- for per hour’s usage). Video Conferencing Facility connecting five major offices and University Computer Centre is also available. The University is going in a big way to modernize the infrastructure of the Computer Centre.
Students are encouraged to take active part in sports. Well maintained sports grounds and facilities for games such as hockey, football, cricket, basketball, volleyball, athletics etc. and well as various indoor games are provided. The Punjabi University also has a large gymnasium and a hall for indoor games. It is one of the very few institutions in India to prossess its own velodrome. The Youth Welfare Department of the University organizes youth activities all round the year. The Punjabi University has won unique distinctions in Youth Festivals organized by the Association of Indian Universities in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt. of India; Directorate of Youth Services, Panjab; Directorate of Higher Education, Panjab and Panjabi Academy of Delhi State.
The University has won overall second position in National Inter-University Youth Festival, won overall championship in North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival many times, has won overall championship in Panjab State Inter-University Youth Festival repeatedly and also has won overall championship many times in All India Inter-University Punjabi Cultural Festival. Students of Punjabi University have had the privilege of representing India in the Festivals of India held in the former USSR, Mauritius, Spain, China, Germany and U.A.E. (Dubai).
Apart from the above mentioned activities, the Department of Youth Welfare organizes Hiking Trekking, Mountaineering and Rock Climbing courses, holds Youth Leadership Training Camps, prepares the students for participation in All India Level Youth Festivals, organizes Rotract Club, Young Cultural Club, Lee Club and Youth Club. It organises Yoga Training Camps for the benefit of students of the university teaching Departments and colleges affiliated to the University. The Department publishes the Yuvak Sabha Magazine and also holds literary and cultural competitions.
The National Service Scheme being implemented by the NSS Department helps students to participate in different programmes of social service and national development.
A well equipped Health Centre with qualified physicians and paramedical staff is at the service of the students round the clock. The Centre has an x-ray unit and also a laboratory for medical tests. The Centre has an AIDS awareness wing.
Students of various teaching departments at the campus are entitled to free medical aid by the University Health Centre. The Health Centre is equipped with basic necessary and modern equipment. The transport Department of the University runs a fleet of buses for linking the campus to various parts of Patiala city. There are three residential Hostels for boys and four residential Hostels for girls. The Hostels have all modern amenities for comfortable living for 2000 students.
To keep pace with global thought processes and for updating of contemporary consciousness, every year the University has undertaken series of Lectures, Seminars and Conferences. To make the University a vibrant global centre for Punjabi language, literature and culture, a new faculty of Arts and Culture has been created. Originality and authencity in the pursuit of Sikh Studies is another area which is also receiving more attention and energy. Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra Dehradun is being developed as an Advanced Centre for Sikh Studies. Punjabi University has established the first ever overseas centre for teaching of Punjabi as a foreign language at Espanola, New Mexico.
The Web-site at the University Campus is projecting our research into the world horizon. Path breaking strides are being encouraged for realizing breakthroughs in Computer Science, Space Science, Bio-technology and Pharmacy where innovative research is under way.
All the departments are involved to promote research culture and spirit. Most of the departments have been able to mobilize additional research funding from UGC, DST, CSIR, Planning Commission, Government Departments and other official funding agencies. Some science departments have been able to develop research tie-ups with industry and have undertaken several consultancy assignments. Several faculty members have won national and international awards in recognition to their research work.
The University has developed a particular expertise in Sikh Studies and Punjabi Historical Studies. Concerted efforts are being done in developing a translation programme in Punjabi and English. In order to develop an association with the outstanding scholars in Punjabi language, literature and culture, the University offers Life Fellowships, Senior Fellowships and Fellowships to the eminent scholars in these fields.
In order to ensure academic freedom, the University departments organize seminars, symposia, conferences and works-shops every year. The teachers are encouraged to participate in the National/International seminars through liberal funding. Many teachers are invited to deliver plenery lectures and preside over the sessions in various seminars and conferences every year.
The University has established its own publication bureau which is actively engaged in publishing research work of the academic community. More than 2000 titles have already been published.
A very large number of students of this University hold key positions in various departments of Government of India and State Government, Premier Institutes such as IIT’s, BARC, CSIR research laboratories, Universities in India and abroad and research laboratories in developed countries like USA, Canada, U. K. etc.
The teachers of the University have guided thousands of Ph.D. scholars and have published enumerable research papers in National and International journals of repute. The departments of Physics, Botany, Economics and Punjabi have been bought under the UGC’s SAP/COSIST/DRS programmes.
The Punjabi University takes pride in the achievement of Five Star status awarded by the NAAC, an autonomous body of the UGC after a thorough evaluation of various research projects undertaken and in the pipeline. The NAAC team had also an exhaustive interface with the faculty of various teaching Departments.
The University was fortunate in having a galaxy of scholars and academic administrators as its Vic-Chancellors. These included
- Bhai Jodh Singh
- Sardar Kirpal Singh Narang
- Mrs Inderjit kaur Sandhu
- Dr. Amrik Singh
- Dr. S.S. Johl
- Dr. Bhagat Singh
- Dr. H.K. Manmohan Singh
- Dr. Joginder singh Puar
- Dr. Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia
- Shri SWARN SINGH BOPARAI, Kirti Chakra, Padma Shri