The proposed appointment of Colonel GS Chadha as the next registrar of Panjab University has run into a controversy. Senator Sandeep Kumar and Prof K Tankeshwar, one of the applicants for the post, have written to the vice-chancellor, Arun Kumar Grover, claiming that Chadha did not “fit into the criteria” for the post.
The appointment was cleared by the PU syndicate in its August meeting, and the decision is to be put up before the senate for final approval in a meeting to be held later this month or in October.
In letters written separately, the two men have cited three conditions that they claim Chadha does not fulfil. The post requires “at least 15 years as assistant professor in the AGP (academic grade pay) of Rs 7,000 and above; or eight years of service in the AGP of Rs 8,000 and above, including as associate professor along with educational administration, or comparable experience in research establishment and/or other institution of higher education; or 15 years of administrative experience, of which 8 years shall be as deputy registrar or an equivalent post,” they have stated in the letters. They have claimed that Chadha — serving army officer who’d have to resign to immediately join PU if his appointment is cleared — did not fit into the criteria also because “he has been working in various capacities in technical units of army, and not in any institute of higher learning”. Grover could not be reached for comment.
After issuing the ad, interviews for the post were held in July. As many as 25 candidates appeared before the interview panel headed by the V-C. The colonel was a surprise choice as he has never been associated with PU in the past. He is currently with the technical unit of the army in Pune.
In the past, the post has mostly been held by those from PU. If GS Chadha does not join as registrar, next on the list is Meenakshi Malhotra, a University Business School professor at PU.