Punjab Assembly established Punjabi University, Patiala under the Punjab Act No. 35 of 1961. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then President of India laid foundation of Punjabi University on June 24, 1962. He preached, "The institutes of higher education share the burden of nation-building in a critically important sense. Our aim is a strong, free and democratic India where every citizen has an equal place and full opportunity of growth. In this task, a vast responsibility rests on our universities." Established on April 30, 1962 in the erstwhile princely state of Patiala with the main objective of furthering the cause of Punjabi language, art and literature, Punjabi University has since evolved into the largest University in the state. This is the second University in the world to be named after a language, the first being Hebrew University of Israel. Its vision is to establish and incorporate a University for the advancement of Punjabi studies and development of Punjabi language as a medium of instruction or otherwise for providing instruction in humanistic and scientific subjects and generally for the promotion of education and research. The University started working from its present lush green, pollution free, 316 acres campus since 1965.
Initially Universitys jurisdiction area was fixed as the 16 km radius having only 9 colleges. In 1969, it grew into an affiliating university, with 43 colleges affiliated to it. Now the university caters to the educational needs of nine Districts of Punjab. Over the time since its inception, the University has evolved into a multi-faceted and multi-faculty educational institution for the promotion of higher education and research in Humanities, Arts, Sciences, Engineering Languages, Technology and many more. Spread over 600 acres of land, its 1500+ teachers are imparting instruction and guidance to nearly 14,000+ students in a multi-faceted, multi-pronged and multi-faculty environment comprising 70+ Teaching and Research Departments/Chairs on its Campus, 27 Regional Centre/ Neighbourhood Campuses/Constituent Colleges and 278 Colleges affiliated to it.
The University was fortunate in having a galaxy of scholars and academic administrators as its Vice-Chancellors. These included
The vision and mission of Punjabi University, Patiala is to promote Punjabi language, literature, art and culture, and the development of Punjabi language as a medium of instruction and examination in various fields of study and generally for the promotion of higher education and research.
Punjabi University, Patiala clearly addresses the needs of the society and students it seeks to serve as mentioned in the mission statement. Besides generation and transmission of knowledge, Punjabi University Act among others requires the University to make provisions
Accordingly, the University has given a major emphasis on the promotion and development of Punjabi language, literature, art and culture. In order to fulfil this objective, besides the establishment of a teaching Department of Punjabi, the University has set up a number of research departments/centres & cells such as Department of Punjabi Development and under this Text book Cell and Translation Cell, Department of Punjabi Literary Studies, Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Department of Lexicography, Centre for Advanced Media Studies, etc.
For the promotion of art and culture, the teaching departments such as department of Theatre and Television, Department of Music, Department of Dance and Department of Fine Arts have been established in the University. Two TV films, one on the Painting Traditions of Punjab and the other on Excavation in Singhol have been undertaken for the promotion of art & culture of Punjab.
At UG level, Punjabi has been introduced as a compulsory subject for all the courses. At PG level in many courses students can also opt Punjabi as a medium of examination. Even M. Phil/Ph.D. thesis can be submitted in Punjabi language except in the case of languages other than Punjabi.
In order to promote Punjabi language, literature, art and culture, Punjabi University has launched a Punjabipedia Project and has started a new website punjabipedia.org.To know the meaning of English in Punjabi, the University has started Online English-Punjabi Dictionary.
The University has started online programme (Lets Learn Punjabi) to learn Punjabi in Gurmukhi Script through Research Centre for Punjabi Language Technology. To make it easier to learn computer in Punjabi for those people who know Punjabi, the University has started an online programme Punjabi Computer Help Centre.
To promote Punjabi language, literature and culture, the University organises every year the following conferences:
The University has established Bhai Vir Singh Chair to promote Punjabi Literature. Annual lectures on prominent Punjabi writers such as Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, Professor Harbhajan Singh and Prof Pritam Singh have been organized.
To promote the tradition of Gurmat Sangeet, the University has established exclusive department of Gurmat Sangeet. To preserve and promote the all inclusive treasure of Gurmat Sangeet, the University has started Gurmat Gyan online Teaching. For this Bhai Randhir Singh online Gurmat Sangeet Library has also been established by Gurmat Sangeet Chair.
Besides this, the University was the first in the region to establish a teaching department Shri Guru Gobind Singh Department of Religious Studies.This is housed in Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan. It offers Master level and M.Phil programmes in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism and Sikhism.
For carrying out research in Sikhism, special research departments such as Guru Granth Sahib Studies and Encyclopaedia of Sikhism have also been established. The University has also released a set of four volumes, on Encyclopaedia of Sikhism prepared by a renowned Professor Late Sardar Harbans Singh.
Taking into consideration the need of the hour, the University has introduced a number of new courses in the areas of Engineering, Management, Computer Science, Social Sciences, Advanced Media Studies, Hospitality and Hotel Management, Certificate Course in Guru Granth Sahib Studies. The University has also established Regional Centres, Neighbourhood Campuses and Constituent Colleges in the rural and remote areas such as Damdama Sahib, Jaito, Dehlan Sian, Joga Ralla and Jhunir. The goal is to take professional and job oriented courses to the door steps of the rural students and students of disadvantaged sections of the society.
Students participate in sports, cultural, co-curricular and extra-curriculur activities at different levels. Many of these activities like Lok Mela, Lok Khedan (Local Sports), Folk Dances, etc. promote Punjabi art and culture.
The University has a modern well planned campus situated on Patiala-Chandigarh road at a short distance from the main city. Sprawling across 316 acres, the campus is away from the din and noise of the city. It presents a splendid sight of magnificent buildings which include the famous Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan. On December 27, 1967, Dr. Zakir Hussain, the then President of India laid the foundation stone of Guru Gobind Singh Bhawan, the iconic landmark building of Punjabi University.
The University has maintained research facilities for scholars at Dr. Balbir Singh Sahitya Kendra at Dehradun. There is a rich library with rare books and manuscripts bequeathed by Bhai Vir Singh, Dr. Balbir Singh and Prof. Puran Singh, the doyens of Punjabi literature. Research on comparative religions is carried out there. This centre is being developed as an Advanced Centre for Sikh Studies
Punjabi University, Patiala, has kept up its spree of winning the highest "A" grade on a four-point scale amongst over 350 universities in the country. The status is awarded by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), which is an autonomous institution of the University Grants Commission, for a period of five years. The rare status is given by the NAAC on the basis of overall performance of a University during a space of five years.
In the year 2016, 11 member NAAC team had visited the University from 20.01.2016 to 23.01.2016 and scanned the activities and achievements of its various departments to review the accomplishments at micro and macro levels.
In the year 2016, 11 member NAAC team had visited the University from 20.01.2016 to 23.01.2016 and scanned the activities and achievements of its various departments to review the accomplishments at micro and macro levels. Disclosing the "prestigious honour" bestowed upon the University, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Jaspal Singh said that NAAC team had made a special mention about the fact that the University has not deviated from its statutory and fundamental responsibility of promoting the cause of Punjabi language, art and culture. The carrying forward of the utilitarian and qualitative research and use of innovative techniques by various department were the other major factors which contributed towards its retaining the highest status, he said. The grading, he added, was important for any University in ways more than one as it helped it in getting enhanced grants from various funding agencies for the promotion of academic and research activities and establishing tie-ups with prestigious institutions and organizations of national and international standing.
The University has eleven departments which have been recognized for their research activities
The University has collaborations with some foreign institutions also. Some of the important collaborators are:
The University also has many Indian Institutions as the important collaborators.
Research Centre for Punjabi Language Technology, Punjabi University, Patiala has carried out number of collaborative research projects for the technical development of Punjabi Language with national institutes like IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, IIT Karagpur, IIT Gauhati, IIIT Hyderabad, IIIT Allahabad, ISI Kolkata, CDAC, Pune, CDAC, Noida, IISc, Bangalore, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad and MS University, Baroda.
Till to date 22 patents have been registered and accepted. 11 research journals are being published by the University. Around 94 awards have been bestowed upon the University faculty by duly recognizing their research. Large number of faculty members are on editorial boards of national and international journals.