The newly-elected Panjab University syndicate met for the first time on Saturday this year and did a 'U' turn on a number of issues including appointment of Neera Grover, wife of Vice-Chancellor AK Grover. The syndicate not only approved her appointment in the music department, but also authorised the V-C to nominate various members in several other committees.
These committees include, board of finance members from the syndicate, revising committee, regulations committee, youth welfare committee publication, bureau committee and standing committee to deal with the cases of the alleged misconduct and use of unfair means in the examination branch.
Breaking the past traditions, as tug-of-war was on between Ashok Goyal led group in the syndicate and vice chancellor A K Grover, the appointment to these committees were made by the syndicate in its January meeting in 2013. Goyal had all the members in his side in the previous syndicate.
On the two issues, which had become bone of contention between the vice-chancellor and the syndicate members-appointment of four persons in University School of Open Learning (USOL) and Neera Grover's case- a committee will be formed by the V-C to go through the template and marks to each candidate in USOL appointment case and has been authorised to take a decision on behalf of the syndicate. The USOL appointment issue had been referred back by the senate for reconsideration.
"We could have taken a decision in the case today but the V-C has received a representation from one of the students that he was not awarded marks in certain category. The committee will examine the matter and take a call,"a syndicate member stated.
As for the controversial case of V-C's wife's appointment case, it was cleared, but seven members of Ashok Goyal group opposed and said that if put to vote, they would abstain.
When asked about his stand in syndicate, Goyal said, "In our view, the item has come violating the PU regulations and it has not come in accordance with the senate. Also a legal notice was received a day before only on the issue."
Syndicate sources said it was passed keeping in view that there was a union department of personnel order in this regard that wherever spouses could be adjusted, measures should be taken as it was good for them individually as well as for the organisation.
Neera Grover's term will start from the time she joins and till July 31, 2015. A K Grover's term as VC would also end next year.
The syndicate also decided that professor PS Jaswal, vice chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University of Law, Patiala, be offered post of dean, university instructions, PU, and asked to join by February 10, failing which, AK Bhandari, next senior most faculty member in the university, will be offered the post.
The syndicate also decided to refer the issue of appointment offer to Suresh Thareja for legal opinion as he was not offered the appointment on time due to administrative lapses.
As the syndicate could take up only 11 items out of over 50 listed for Saturday, the next syndicate meeting is scheduled to January 16.