With the date of elections to new syndicate out, hectic lobbying has started at Panjab University (PU). The elections to syndicate, the executive government of the university, will take place on December 9, after the senate meeting on December 8.
The incumbent syndicate is dominated by senator Ashok Goyal and his group, which, it is believed, has all 15 members on his side. But many believe that the new syndicate may not have the same strength of the Goyal group.
Sources at PU said recent controversies surrounding opposition to vice-chancellor AK Grover's wife 're-appointment' in music department and boycott of syndicate meetings by some of its members have made several senators believe that syndicate members did not allow the V-C to function properly. Many consider the controversy as a damaging factor at a point when the university hogged international limelight as it was ranked number one in the country by an international agency, earlier this year.
Those against the Goyal group said despite the fact that group had all members in the syndicate, the syndics had a showdown with the V-C on many issues due to which the syndicate could not function properly.
“All syndicate members are from Goyal group. Two meetings could not take place as the members either did not turn up or boycotted the meeting. It is unheard of in the recent history,” said a senior senator.
Sources said due to 'unreasonable stand' taken by the Goyal group in the syndicate, a number of members have switched sides with Gopal Krishan Chatrath group, which became weak recently, while many were speculating the emergence of a third group.
“Probably for the first time, the university had nearly 15 senators from its campus only. Despite that they could not press for the university issues. Also stand-off between the V-C and the syndicate members could have been avoided. A third group may emerge of those who do not wish to join either of the groups,” said another senator.
But the Ashok Goyal group, which had only two members in the 2012 syndicate and bagged all 15 seats in 2013, appears to be unfazed by the controversies.
“The charge against us is false. Neither the V-C nor any senate member shared any anguish on the charges against us, when the issue was taken up by Ashok Goyal in senate meeting held in September. It is the other way round. The V-C was not able to take all syndics along,” said a member of the Goyal group.
Know the syndicate
15 members are elected by the PU senate for the executive government (syndicate) of the university every year in December.
Two members from languages, three each from arts and sciences, two from law and two from medical science are elected.
Three members are elected from combined faculty- engineering and technology, fine arts and some other departments.
These members will be voted by 91 senators.
V-C heads the syndicate, while the university registrar is a member secretary of the syndicate.