Channi’s bid to give PTU V-C’s charge to Pannu hits stumbling block
Allotted a relatively “low-profile” department by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s road to run the department seems to be full of thorns.punjab Updated: Apr 24, 2017 11:06 IST
Allotted a relatively “low-profile” department by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s road to run the department seems to be full of thorns.
Despite repeatedly taking it up at the highest level, the minister has failed to give the charge of vice-chancellor of the IK Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), Kapurthala, to secretary, technical education, Kahan Singh Pannu.
Following recommendation of the previous government, the V-C’s charge was given to then secretary, technical education, Rakesh Verma on January 15, 2015, mentioning that he, being the department’s secretary, will continue to hold this position till a regular V-C is appointed.
On April 1 this year, the Congress government transferred Verma as commissioner-cum-director, industries, and appointed Pannu in his place.
Sources said everybody in the department was hoping that Pannu, by the virtue of his post, would automatically get the charge of the technical university’s V-C till the regular appointment is made. But even after 20 days of him being appointed as the secretary, the file is stuck in the office of special chief secretary, technical education, MP Singh.
Sources said Channi has repeatedly taken up the matter at the CMO level, but to no avail.
“Verma was given the V-C’s charge as he was the technical education secretary and not in his individual capacity. Since he has been transferred, the new secretary should take charge automatically,” Channi had pleaded to the CM office, it is learnt.
Sources say Verma continues to hold the charge of the technical university V-C and is still signing administrative files.
Sources in the department said the strong lobby backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the varsity has pressured officials in the CM office not clear the file naming Pannu as the V-C, fearing his (Pannu’s) stand against corruption.
Sources said a dean in the university, who remained suspended and is close to former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, is also using his clout against Pannu.
The university has already advertised the post and the next V-C is likely to be appointed has been advertised, but till then, both these “lobbies” want Pannu to stay away from the campus, said a PTU functionary.
When contacted, Channi said: “Yes, there were some issues, but I hope Pannu gets the charge in the next few days.”
Special principal secretary MP Singh did not comment even as he asked this correspondent to send a query through a text message.