The senate meeting on Saturday kicked up a controversy over the participation of IS Chadha, who is a member of the search committee constituted for the selection of the new vice-chancellor of Panjab University.
Chadha not only attended the meeting but also actively participated in the proceedings. The search committee is already under scanner for inclusion of Chadha, which is in violation of university grant commission (UGC) norms for selection of a VC.
PU chancellor and vice-president of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari had formed a search committee headed by justice Leila Seth, which includes Dr Rama Rao and Indian Foreign Service official IS Chadha (retd).
As per the regulation 7.3.0 of the UGC, the selection of VC is to be done by a search committee. The members of the committee shall be persons of eminence in the sphere of higher education and shall not be connected in any manner with the university concerned or its affiliated colleges.
The committee should have a nominee of the chancellor, who should be the chairperson of the committee; a nominee of the chairperson and a nominee each from UGC and syndicate/executive council/board of management of the university concerned. The committee also does not have a nominee of the UGC.
Surprised with Chadha's presence in the senate meeting, senior senate member VK Tewari said that Chadha actively took part in the meeting and spoke on certain issues.
"It is clear violation of laid norms and time has come that he should disassociate himself from the search committee," said Tewari, who urged the chancellor to revisit nomination of Chadha in the search committee and act accordingly.
Raising objection on his presence, Kuldeep Singh said that he should not have attended the meeting. "It's against propriety to take part in the proceeding of the meeting, when he has been inducted into search committee for selection of vice-chancellor," said Kuldeep Singh.
While talking to HT after the meeting, Chadha maintained that being a member of the senate, he is free to attend the meetings. "As long as I am not disqualified, I can attend the meetings," said Chadha. Two senior senate members are also vying for the coveted post.