Punjab News: The Higher Education Department in Punjab is poised to bring Sangrur its inaugural university as it plans to relocate the Jagat Guru Nanak Dev Punjab State Open University (JGND PSOU) from Patiala to the premises of the Baba Hira Singh Bhattal Institute of Engineering and Technology in Lehra, Sangrur. The proposal for this move, which has been finalized, is expected to be presented before the state cabinet during its upcoming meeting.
Sangrur to House Punjab’s First Open University
Established on December 20, 2019, to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, JGND PSOU initiated its academic session in 2021. However, the university has been operating on an ad hoc basis from various government offices, including the house of the principal of Government Mohinder College and Government College of Physical Education in Patiala.
Earlier attempts to acquire land for the university have faced hurdles
The government’s efforts to secure 42 acres of land in Tarora village were thwarted by local opposition. Subsequently, 30 acres in Paharpur village were obtained and transferred to the university, but yet again, local protests obstructed the possession of the land.
Currently, the university accommodates approximately 3,000 students across certificate and degree programs, with 105 learning centers distributed throughout the state. A total of 65 teaching and non-teaching staff members are involved in the university’s operations.
The unused Lehra Institute building, previously a college that halted admissions for four-year engineering courses in 2020, will now serve as the new home for Punjab’s first open university. The institute, initially established as a polytechnic college in 1995, was later reconstituted as an autonomous body named after freedom fighter Baba Hira Singh Bhattal, the father of former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. This strategic relocation of JGND PSOU aims to provide a dedicated and permanent space for higher education in Sangrur.