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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, July 08, 2013
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday granted six weeks' time to the board of governors (BoG) of Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar, to review its decision of granting three years' extension to Rajneesh Arora as vice-chancellor (V-C). The decision came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Augustine George Masih on a petition filed by suspended dean, directorate of distance education, PTU, Narinder Paul Singh, challenging Arora's appointment and the extension granted on October 5, 2011.

The court was informed that Arora was ineligible in terms of the University Grants Commission (UGC) regulations issued on June 3, 2010, prescribing minimum qualifications. As per the notification, a minimum of 10 years' experience as professor or in an equivalent position is required for the V-C's post, which Arora was not having at the time of the appointment.

The petitioner, who had raised questions on Arora's appointment to the V-C's post on December 19, 2008, and three years' extension granted vide notification dated November 21, 2011, has sought a probe by the Punjab vigilance bureau in the case.

The petitioner submitted that Arora was granted extension against the procedure prescribed under the PTU Act, 1996. Neither any search committee was constituted nor claims of any other eligible persons in the field of technical education, including the petitioner, were considered and thus the BoG could not have recommended the extension at its meeting on October 5, 2011, the petitioner mentioned. Even Arora's bio-data was not put up before the BoG as the matter was not on the agenda.

The petitioner claimed that even the state chief secretary was illegally appointed as chairman of the BoG for the third consecutive term, whereas the PTU Act says that the chairman ought to be a person of national eminence in the fields of industry, technology or technical education. The vice-chancellor's regular term was to come to an end on December 24, 2011, but the BoG hastily took the decision to grant him extension at its meeting on October 5, 2011, the petitioner said.