Chandigarh, October 27: The self-claimed India’s largest university, Lovely Professional University (LPU) of Punjab seems to have been embroiled in CAG audit. In a recent audit report tabled by CAG, it is revealed that even after repeated requests, the Badal government in Punjab did not provide records and files of LPU.
CAG report further reveals that most of the private colleges and universities grabbed prime land under the garb of imparting education to students.
Unravelling the nexus between Badal government and private university management, CAG hints that higher education in Punjab is mired in corruption. Instead of transparent regulations, the private institutes have violated all norms in running the universities and colleges.
The report which exposes the corrupt style of functioning of the Badal government says five private universities commenced academic session without the clearance of the University Grant Commission (UGC).
According to a senior official sidelined by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, most of the private universities in the state are run on political money. The official says that Badals are also close to Mittals, owners of the Lovely Professional University which boast of a strength of over 25000 students. Due to a close relationship between Badals and Mittals, the state government did not provide records, relating to approval of Lovely University, to CAG.
Ashok Mittal, the chancellor of the LPU might be a high-flying businessman today, but four decades ago his grandfather Baldev Raj used to run a sweet shop, known for its delicious ladoos, in Jalandhar. Later on, the sweet shop transformed into a chain of Lovely Sweets outlets. However, it was political connections which saw Mittals minting money out of laddoos.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the opposition is trying to expose the Badal government for flouting norms to oblige big private players in higher education sector. The CAG report seems to have come handy as a political tool for AAP which at the moment leads the poll survey in the forthcoming Assembly elections.