It took three years, but finally, Panjab University (PU) has completed its inquiry against Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Mahilpur, Hoshiarpur, recommending action against the principal on the charges of misappropriating the University Grants Commission (UGC) money and making a fake proposal to it.
The report will come up before the syndicate on September 20 for discussion and further action. Through its principal, SS Randhawa, the college had submitted a proposal to UGC for running an MSc (Master of Science) course in industrial chemistry under the commission's innovative programme. In 2009, a committee of experts and UGC officials recommended financial assistance of Rs 56.50 lakh to the college, which got the first part of it in February 2010, of `42.3 lakh. On March 29, 2010, the PU syndicate recognised the course.
Dr Raghubir Singh of Amritsar filed a complaint with the chief vigilance commissioner and the UGC against principal Randhawa, accusing him of misappropriation and sending a fake proposal to the UGC. In 2012, the complaint was marked to the PU vice-chancellor. A three-member committee was formed under justice GC Garg (retd) found that Randhawa's selection as principal was not approved by the PU. "…it can safely be concluded that Randhawa is not a duly selected and appointed principal of the college but is continuing as such for the past 8 years in view of the stay granted by the (Punjab and Haryana) high court. Principal Randhawa did not disclose it while submitting the proposal in question. The university authorities also did not point it out to the UGC," stated the commission's report.
The committee also found that the course proposal is not signed by the coordinator, though it was required. Randhawa had signed for both coordinator and principal.
The proposal is also not signed by the head of the department concerned, a fact that the UGC overlooked, the committee has said. "The allegation that the grant amount had not been deposited in a separate bank account as required by the UGC stands proved… a strict action deserves to be taken against the principal/college authorities. The interest earned on that amount also had not been credited to the account," says the inquiry report.
The committee said the college had no followed a proper procedure for the purchase of equipment and the maintenance of record. Regarding members of the faculty, the committee said "none has been till today".
"The entire show was perhaps being run by only one teacher. There is no workshop for practical work. The equipment purchased from the UGC grant is laid on the slabs of two rooms. It is difficult to imagine how practical training can be imparted to the students from there. It is, however, for the university to consider this aspect and conclude whether or not recognition to the course should be continued," says the report.