Amidst an acrimonious two-hour debate, Panjab University senate, the apex governing body of the varsity, cleared the appointment of colonel GS Chadha as the next registrar on Sunday afternoon. He would be the first 'outsider' to be appointed to the post in the last decade and is expected to take charge by the middle of the next month.
A large number of members questioned the selection process and his eligibility, and also wanted the matter to be put to vote. However, vice-chancellor AK Grover overruled these objections and stated that he did not want to 'set a bad precedent' by allowing voting. Chadha's name was finally cleared by voice vote.
Senate members, including Satya Pal Jain and Ashok Goyal, among others, sought clarifications from the university over eligibility. It was also demanded that UGC clarify his qualification and that a committee be also formed to look into the matter.
Some members also argued that he did not have the requisite experience of working as deputy registrar or equivalent post in an academic institution.
Goyal raised questions over the selection process, claiming that the vice-chancellor overruled recommendations of the scrutiny committee. He also claimed that the matter was not discussed in the syndicate meeting and was cleared in 30 seconds. The VC clarified that some applicants had not submitted their educational qualification certificates and he only allowed them to give some time to send their certificates to the scrutiny committee and all eligible candidates were allowed to appear in interviews.
Members also questioned the university decision of putting a note with the item, wherein it was stated that both Chadha and Meenakshi Malhotra, the number one on the waiting list, fulfilled the criteria. They argued that this note implied that there were doubts in certain sections about the appointment. However, the university authorities did not have a clear answer to this.
At one point speaking in favour of the appointment, dean sciences, Rupinder Tewari said the contention that Chadha was not from academic background held no water as many of the senate members were also not academicians. This led to heated debate with those from the Goyal group objecting to the statement. Finally, the VC intervened and stopped Tewari from completing his statement.
Later, many members including former MP and railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the process had been transparent.
POINTS OF DEBATE
"Some councilors claimed that Chadha does not have the requisite experience of working as deputy registrar or an equivalent post in an academic institution
"Questions have been raised over the selection process; however, the vice-chancellor overruled the recommendations of the scrutiny committee
"There is also the argument that Chadha does not have the requisite experience of working as deputy registrar or equivalent post in an academic institution
Who is Chadha?
Chadha, 54, is a mechanical engineer and did his masters and bachelors degree (mechanical engineering) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Apart from his engineering degree, he holds an MBA from IIBM Patna University; a post-graduate diploma in management (Industrial Relations and Personnel Management) and another post-graduate diploma in public relations, advertising, and applied communications from Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan.
He did his schooling from UP Sainik School, Lucknow, and St Xavier, School, Doranda. Chadha is also fellow of the Institutions of Engineers (India) and has won many awards. He is working with the maintenance division of the army based in Pune. He retires as colonel later this month.