The appointment of head, department of soil sciences, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has landed in a controversy with another faculty member claiming that he was more suitable for the job when it comes to seniority, career and citations.
The new head of the department, HS Thind, will take charge in May, after the retirement of US Sidana on April 31.
PAU vice-chancellor BS Dhillon has appointed associate director (extension education), HS Thind, as soil sciences head for four years in January this year.
BS Brar, senior scientist, department of soil sciences, too had applied for the post. Brar is more than six years senior to Thind. In a representation sent to V-C Dhillon, Brar said he got Chaudhary Devi Lal Outstanding AICRP Award for the year 2004, was conferred with FAI Award 2007 by world phosphorus Institute of Casablanca, Morocco and Fertilizer Association of India. He was also given Meritorious Shiksha Rattan Puraskar by the India International Friendship Society, New Delhi.
On the other hand, Thind has a tainted past. He was suspended from the service on account of ‘character assassination’ of a girl student. He was debarred from guiding any student for two years and his two increments were cancelled.
The scientists of PAU on the condition of anonymity said the vice-chancellor had purposely hid the fact to benefit Thind. The proposal of appointment of Thind as head, department of soil sciences, was put in the 265th meeting of the board of the management of PAU held on March 27.
The scientists alleged that the vice-chancellor had produced only five years’ service record of Thind before the board of management. Dhillon said the appointment was based on merits and seniority.
“The matter was sent to promotion committee and then it was presented in the meeting of Board of Management. After considering the facts the board of directors has appointed Dr Thind as head, department of soil science.” The vice-chancellor has refuted all the allegations.