The government-run Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur, which is without a regular principal for over two months, is in the “process of regularising” nine employees who are facing dismissal due to their wrong selection.
The Punjab directorate of technical education has a draft advertisement “ready for publishing” to appoint a new principal, but not before getting the recommendation from the officiating principal, OP Singh, to regularise the employees who were “appointed illegally”.
Former principal Ravi Kumar, whose tenure ended on an unhappy note in May 19 this year, had blocked the government’s move to regularise these employees. In all, 17 contractual employees, including teaching and non-teaching staff members, were found illegal appointees in a departmental inquiry conducted by Kumar in July 2014.
The inquiry revealed that some contractual employees did not meet the qualification eligibility and others did not clear the required UGC/NET or did not meet the work experience clause for selection.
Kumar had constituted a committee of experts and the findings were submitted to the college board of governors, which decided to dismiss these employees instead of renewing their contracts.
The nine employees who have been handpicked for the regular job include assistant professors Mohit Marwaha (IT), Preet Kamal Singh (mechanical engineering), Sandeep Kaur (computer science), Baljinder Singh (IT), Lovejit Kaur (applied chemistry), Rishi Tuli (applied maths), Deepak Kalia (computers), Vishan Mahajan (management) and Pritpal Singh (director physical education).
The directions to review their cases came from technical education minister Madan Mohan Mittal, who had acknowledged it when the HT reported the matter in June this year.
This move comes in contradiction to the replies filed by the directorate and the college management for the dismissal of these employees in the Punjab and Haryana high court. The employees had got a stay from the high court on their dismissal.
In its reply to the high court, the college management had said: “The petitioners (contractual employees) are guilty of obtaining appointment by illegal means and thus, were not entitled to any relief of regularisation under any policy.”
When contacted, additional director, technical education, HP Singh said: “The officiating principal has been asked to review their cases for regularisation again. These employees had approached the technical education minister, who had asked to review their case.
On Saturday, an off-day in the college, the officiating principal called the clerical staff of the establishment wing to prepare a reply as sought by the additional director.
In June, the officiating principal had expressed his reservations while sending his reply for preparing a case to regularise these employees. When contacted, the officiating principal said he had been asked to give his reply again.
The three-year term of Ravi Kumar as the principal of Beant College of Engineering and Technology, ended on May 19 this year, with the government rejecting his representation seeking continuation in office for another two years.
His contract had a clause that he might be considered to continue for two more years after the three-year term.
Kumar is back with the National Institute of Technology in Hamirpur, teaching material science, where he had begun his career as a scientist decades back.