Returning to PU a pilgrimage: CEC Sunil Arora

Chandigarh, Nov 28 (PTI) Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora turned nostalgic on Thursday when he visited a Panjab University hostel, where he stayed four decades back, calling the trip a “pilgrimage.” Arora went to hostel number–1 where he stayed for a brief period in 1979, and recalled his memories.

The 1980-batch IAS officer from Rajasthan cadre did his post-graduation in English from PU-affiliated Government College, Hoshiarpur in 1976.

For about three months in 1979, Arora stayed at the PU hostel here to prepare for the Civil Services examination.

“It is a pilgrimage for me to be here,” Arora said while addressing a two-day annual global alumni meet at Panjab University.

Sharing his memories of the hostel, the CEC said “At that time, we used to have 'rajma chawal' twice a week and also 'bun-omelet' at the PGI gate.” While addressing the gathering, Arora also recalled the association of his family with the university.

Arora said his parents, younger brother and sister had also studied at Government College, Hoshiarpur.

He urged the youth to be “disrupters” by becoming innovators, initiating start-ups and creating jobs.

Arora referred to the transition of Panjab University from Lahore to Chandigarh, and said it has a national stature as well as international acclaim.

Over the years, the university has emerged as an institution at the frontier of innovative teaching practices and academic research, he said.

While taking a few questions from the gathering, he was asked to respond on electoral bonds.

Arora replied that the Election Commission of India had given a categorical view, expressing reservations about the bonds in 2017.

“The ECI had reiterated that in an affidavit before the Supreme Court, where the matter is sub judice,” he said.

The CEC later inaugurated a 'wall of alumni'.

Arora said the visit to his hostel filled him with nostalgia and took him back to his student life.

Mia Yen, Consul General of Canada in Chandigarh discussed India-Canada relations and emphasized the contribution of Indian students to his country’s economy She also shared her views on women empowerment and gender equality. PTI CHS VSD AD