Amid the controversy over the fate of Amritsar-based Khalsa University, its vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr SS Chahal resigned on Saturday.
Although Chahal, who was the first V-C of the newly established university, cited “family reasons” for taking this decision, sources said he was also disturbed due to the ongoing row between the new Congress government and the varsity management.
Meanwhile, the university was quick to appoint a new V-C. Dr Gurmohan Singh Walia, who is at present the V-C of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib, will be joining office here next week.
Confirming his resignation, Chahal told HT over phone: “I lost my wife to cardiac arrest in February this year. After her death, I couldn’t report to work, and have been on leave since then. Now, I have finally resigned as my house is in Chandigarh and it is more convenient for me to work in the same city.”
Chahal said he is currently part of the University Grants Commission (UGC) panel at Panjab University and the work kept him occupied.
On the Capt government’s decision to scrap the varsity legislation, Chahal said: “It was Khalsa College Governing Council’s (KCGC) decision to upgrade it to a university. I was just an appointee. I cannot comment further on the decision.”
KCGC deputy director, public relations, Dharmendra Rataul said the management has accepted Chahal’s resignation.
Captain Amarinder Singh, who had vowed to scrap any law that tinkered with the heritage status of the 125-year-old college, reiterated his resolve after assuming power in the state. The legislation making Khalsa College a private university was passed by the Punjab assembly in September last year, when the SAD-BJP government was in power.
Amritsar MP Gurjit Singh Aujla also joined the issue last Monday, calling for scrapping of the legislation “in the interest of students and teachers”. However, unfazed, the varsity authorities had claimed they would go ahead with admissions in the next session.