Punjabi University that always remains in news for “favouritism” in appointments, has been hit by a fresh controversy in the recent contractual appointment of assistant professor in the department of commerce.
Research scholar Neha Singla, who was awarded chancellor’s medal for excellence in academics (highest honour) has alleged that two other candidates were selected for the position and her merit was ignored.
In a letter to the university, she stated, “I received this honour from the Punjab governor in 2014 for my outstanding academic records. I am the first one in department of commerce at Punjabi University to get such an honour since its inception in 1987. Despite all this, I have not been selected for the contractual post by the university. So, I have decided to return this worthless medal, as someone’s backing is more important than medals to get a job in the university.”
She alleged that two candidates doing PhD under the head of department Navkiranjit Kaur and brother of a university professor were selected even though their academic achievements are much lower than mine.
This letter has stunned the academia in the university.
A university professor, requesting anonymity, said, “I also feel bad, as Neha scored 42 marks out of 50 — 12 more than the nearest candidate, still she could not get a job. But, commerce department is proud of her academic achievements.”
Singla wrote to Punjab Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, “Kindly let me know the date and time of returning this medal to you, sir.”
“I qualified UGC NET-JRF in the first attempt even before completion of MCom. I have five research papers to my credit. As a research fellow, I have also been teaching postgraduate classes in the department. But when it comes to selection, they ignored my merit during the interview. Even the dean academic affairs Gurnam Singh, who was heading the panel, was not present in the interview. It was a shame as candidates were selected before the interview,” she said.
V-C Jaspal Singh and dean (academics) Gurnam Singh could not be contacted despite several attempts. Despite being contacted on phone, commerce department head Navkiranjit Kaur evaded the queries and hanged the phone.