The Punjab government today decided to scrap the controversial Khalsa University Act, 2016, to protect the heritage status of the 125-year-old Khalsa College. A decision to this effect was taken by the state cabinet at a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, here, an official spokesman said. Amarinder had earlier promised to protect the glorious legacy of Khalsa College, Amritsar, which is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country with a heritage status. The spokesperson said the Cabinet termed as appalling the move by the Khalsa College Society to destroy its rich heritage status by converting the prestigious institution into the university. The Khalsa varsity was established vide Khalsa University Act, 2016, by the previous SAD-BJP alliance government despite huge criticism from not only the residents of Amritsar but also from the alumni of the college and intellectuals of the state, the Cabinet noted. There was no point in establishing an additional university in Amritsar, which already had several reputed institutions of higher learning, it said. While the Guru Nanak Dev University has won wide acclaim and recognition at the national level, the Sri Guru Ram Dass University of Health Sciences and the Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar, were also amongst the institutions of national repute, the Cabinet said. It also noted that taking away a chunk of land from Khalsa College to make a university would adversely affect the existence of Khalsa College. The Cabinet opined that all the properties attached to the Khalsa College should be kept intact, thus also preserving its architectural grandeur and marvel.
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