Taking lessons from the previous instances of poor handling of high-profile visits, Panjab University has appointed a high-level 10-member committee to look after the preparations for University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman Ved Prakash’s visit in August.
Prakash will deliver a lecture on “Impetus to Research: Strategic Planning and Work-Plan” on the campus on August 14, which will be webcast live across all universities of the country. Nearly 10 vice- chancellors (V-C), including those of Punjabi University, Patiala; Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; Kurukshetra University and Himachal Pradesh University, will take part in the event.
The committee headed by dean, university instructions and registrar, AK Bhandari was formed in May to avoid any goofup during Prakash’s visit. PU V-C AK Grover has himself held two meetings to oversee the state of preparedness for the visit.
The move is being attributed to the university’s past mishandling of VIP visits. During the convocation held in March 2013, the then human resource development minister M Pallam Raju, who presided over the ceremony, was left embarrassed when he went to a suite in the university guest house to take bath but there was no water supply. The matter resulted in huge embarrassment to Grover as well when Raju apprised him about it but no action was taken against any official.
Officials said senator Karamjit Singh had been given the task of overseeing coordination work among various agencies and minutely checking preparedness of the campus infrastructure.
The lecture at PU will take place at the gymnasium hall and officials concerned have been asked to revamp not only the hall but also its surroundings.
“The officials have been asked to whitewash the guest houses and carry out necessary repair work. The necessary repair work of roads, especially the beautification of sideways and parks, should be given priority,” said a top official, adding these were instructions by the V-C.