I am privileged and honoured to have been given the opportunity of serving as Vice Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, which is amongst the premier institutions of higher learning. The University was established on April 30, 1962 with a mandate to promote Punjabi language, literature and culture, and was the second university in the world to have been named after a language. It has since emerged as a key institution for imparting high-quality education and to perform cutting-edge research in the areas of life sciences, physical sciences, medicine, engineering and technology, business studies, law, social sciences, languages, education, information sciences, and arts and culture. It is a matter of great pride that the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has awarded the University a Five Star grade in the first cycle (2002-07) and A grade in the second (2008-13) and the third (2016-23) cycles. Currently, the University has 65 teaching and research departments, 275 affiliated colleges, 5 neighborhood campuses, 14 constituent colleges, 4 regional centres. It enrols nearly 14000 students in various courses, including a large number of them from rural areas with a paucity of resources. The University's performance in sports and games is exemplary, with the distinction of being a 10-time winner of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy awarded by Government of India to the Best Performing University in competitive sports.
I envisage a very bright future for this prestigious University and our endeavour will be to create an ambience of academic excellence, to build a Knowledge Hub in Patiala in partnership with neighboring institutions of higher education in the region, to begin inter- and multi-disciplinary skill-based courses in fields such as Agroecology and Data Sciences, with a focus on developing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools for Punjab and Punjabi language, and to produce highly skilled and committed graduates imbued with critical thinking, scientific temper and humane, secular and ethical values.
From its inception more than 60 years ago, the University has consistently scaled greater and greater heights due to the distinguished contributions rendered by the faculty and the zeal and work of the students, non-teaching staff and other stakeholders. I sincerely acknowledge the seminal contribution of each one of them.