Panjab University (PU) and its affiliated colleges have 1,586 sanctioned posts of teaching staff, of which 797 over 50% are vacant.
The PU registrar gave this information to the Panjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL), which originally questions the 'emergency' appointment of vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover's wife Neera in the music department on the Chandigarh campus of PU.
Replying to the plea filed by Rajinder Kumar Singla, registrar AK Bhandari has submitted that only 710 posts have been filled on regular basis, while another 79 are, for now, occupied by retired teachers who have been re-employed on full-time basis.
Bhandari added that the university was "very shortly" going to advertise 111 regular posts of assistant professor in various disciplines. Also, an advertisement was issued earlier this month for hiring principals for PU's three constituent colleges at Guru Har Sahai, Nihal Singh Wala and Sikh Wala. The date of interview for the post of director-professor at Swami Sarvanand Giri Panjab University regional centre at Hoshiarpur would be finalised soon, the HC was told.
Since 2000, 586 non-teaching posts of classes A, B and C have been filled under PU. As for teaching posts, since 2010, 111 teaching posts have been filled by way of promotion under the career advancement scheme.
V-C wife's appointment
The case's moot point is the appointment of Neera Grover as professor in the department of music; she joined on December 17 last, around five months after the V-C joined.
On Wednesday, the petitioner's counsel RD Anand submitted in his reply that the information received by him under the RTI Act revealed that there was no "emergency" for Neera's appointment.
He submitted that as per the RTI information, for the academic session 2011-12, five teachers in the music department undertook 53 lectures per week for master's course. However, in the second term of 2012-13, six teachers (including Neera) were undertaking only 45 lectures per week. This entire exercise was done to "accommodate" Grover, it was submitted. The lawyer also submitted that till date Neera was not supervising or guiding any student for research (PhD or MPhil).
The division bench headed by chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul posted the case for next hearing on September 18, when the final arguments are slated to be held.