7:33 AM IST - Thursday April 2, 2015

Panjab University teachers see red over campus showbiz

Chandigarh, Jan 21 Celebrities descending on the Panjab University (PU) campus to promote their films or shoot them may be to the liking of hundreds of awestruck students, but it’s making the faculty see red.

With some recent events drawing students from teaching departments and some even bunking classes to see the stars, the teachers’ union has taken up the issue with the varsity authorities, pointing out that all this is affecting the institution’s academic atmosphere.

The Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has cautioned the authorities to check the projection and promotion of commercial movies and activities on the campus. PUTA has taken up the matter with vice chancellor R.C. Sobti.

“The university has the provision of allowing production houses to come and shoot their films on campus. However, if someone comes for promotion of their movies without notice for purely commercial purposes and disturbs the decorum of the departments nearby, it is not good,” PUTA president Akshay Kumar said.

“The association feels that showcasing of this kind of content in an educational institution is detrimental to the academic atmosphere,” Kumar told IANS here.

In recent months, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and some Punjabi film industry stars have descended on the campus for promoting or shooting their films. Some came with the permission of PU authorities while others brought their roadshow on the campus without permission.

PUTA has now asked the vice chancellor to evolve a system which can filter what is being showcased to the students.

“If Ranbir wants to promote his movie at the Students Centre, he should ask for permission. We want the authorities to draw a line as to what is to be shown. Some time back, a Punjabi movie, ‘Anne Kohre Da…’, was shown in the Department of English. Any documentary screening arranged in the Department of Indian Theatre and School of Communication Studies is acceptable,” Kumar said.

He said departments like Indian Theatre, where the curriculum deals with the movies, could be shown films.

“Their students watch it with a critical eye to learn. But doing an event at the Students’ Centre is what we object to,” he said.

The Students’ Centre, Stu-C as it is popular among students, is an area with eateries and recreation facilities which is frequented by students from all teaching departments throughout the day.

The university’s A.C. Joshi Library, which is next to the Students’ Centre, is most affected when a big event is held there with mikes and even DJ music playing at full volume.

Librarian Raj Kumar told IANS: “Many times, when something is happening at the Students’ Centre involving high volume music systems, groups of students have come up to me complaining about the noise. They are unable to concentrate inside the library. But there is hardly anything I can do.”

He gave the example of the latest Lohri celebrations.

“On Jan 13, it was acceptable as almost everyone is involved but some departments around the library celebrated it Jan 12 which disturbed the students preparing for competitive examinations,” he pointed out.

Research scholar Amanjot Kaur from the Department of Biotechnology said: “We have to ignore the fact that there is something happening at the Students’ Centre because we can’t help it. It disturbs us a lot because of the crowd.”

Justifying the activities, however, PU’s dean for students welfare A.S. Ahluwalia said: “As far as the activities at the Students’ Centre are concerned, they have been granted permission.

“Without taking permission, nobody can do anything there. However, we always tell them to keep the volume low so that the neighbouring departments are not disturbed. We will look into the matter since PUTA has requested, but sometimes matters are exaggerated.”


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