Shimla: Sardar Patel University Mandi has become the unintended battleground for a bitter political feud between Education Minister Rohit Thakur and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jai Ram Thakur. Amidst this political power play, the future of SPU and the educational landscape it represents faces unprecedented challenges.

Sardar Patel University’s was started during the previous BJP government’s tenure. Education Minister Rohit Thakur asserts that its establishment was hurried, marked by a lack of foresight and a genuine commitment to quality education. He claims it was a strategic political move, potentially sacrificing the university’s educational standards for political expediency.

In a recent press statement, Rohit Thakur unveiled the university’s current predicament. Sardar Patel University grapples with severe shortages in both teaching and non-teaching staff, resulting in woefully inadequate resources and facilities for students. Affiliated colleges have joined forces in a plea to affiliate with Himachal Pradesh University, an institution boasting a more substantial staff pool and better resources for students.

Thakur emphasizes that the state government has no intentions of closing Sardar Patel University, dismissing claims to the contrary as politically motivated. Instead, he accuses the LoP of exploiting regional sentiments for electoral gain, highlighting that proper infrastructure development should have preceded the university’s inauguration.

Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur has been equally vocal in his criticism of the state government. He accuses it of acting with political vendetta by excluding 140 colleges from SPU’s jurisdiction, further fueling the turmoil surrounding the university.

As the political feud escalates, it is imperative to ensure that the interests of the educational institutions and their students are not compromised by political ambitions. Sardar Patel University, Mandi, was envisioned to be a symbol of higher education in Himachal Pradesh, and it now finds itself entangled in a political quagmire. The academic well-being of students remains a central concern, and the question persists whether politicians will prioritize their constituents’ welfare over political interests.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.