Panjab University V-C completes 5 years, says it is a special day | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Panjab University V-C completes 5 years, says it is a special day

During his tenure, Panjab University managed to generate a huge amount by itself independently.

punjab Updated: Jul 25, 2017 14:57 IST
Ifrah Mufti
An alumnus of Panjab University, he did his MSc (honours) from the department of Physics in 1973 and went on to attain a doctorate from Tata Institute of fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1979.
An alumnus of Panjab University, he did his MSc (honours) from the department of Physics in 1973 and went on to attain a doctorate from Tata Institute of fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1979.(HT File )

With a proud smile on his face, Panjab University vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover on Monday said that it is a special day today as he has completed five years as a V-C in the university.

Professor Grover had become the PU’s vice-chancellor on July 23, 2012. The first three years of his tenure had remained devoid of controversies as he did not interfere in the syndicate and senate politics.

Five highs during his tenure
  • · Recruitment of 100 teachers
  • · University ranked first in the Times Higher Education list of world universities
  • · Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster was set up to identify and carry out collaborative research projects.
  • · Management of the worst financial crisis through research and by fighting with the UGC tooth and nail.
  • · Internal revenue of varsity has been increased from Rs 155.20 crore in 2013-14 to Rs 256 crore in 2016-17, which is an increment of 20% per annum.

During his tenure, the university ranked first in the Times Higher Education list of world universities. Professor Grover has been particularly praised for appointing more than a 100 teachers in the varsity to meet the dearth of faculty members. In 2015, professor Grover had completed his tenure and was set to retire. However, the Vice-President of India and chancellor of the university, Hamid Ansari, had ordered his extension for the next three years.

An alumnus of Panjab University, he did his MSc (honours) from the department of Physics in 1973 and went on to attain a doctorate from Tata Institute of fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1979.

Having published about 200 research papers and with a patent to his credit, it was during Prof Grover’s tenure that the Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRIKC) was set up to identify and carry out collaborative research projects.

Besides, V-C’s tenure remained controversial as well. When the vice-chancellor had joined, PU was undergoing worst financial crisis. PU did not even have adequate money to pay the salaries of the staff. The disbursement of salaries of the PU staff, release of the research grants, reimbursement of the medical bills and even the faculty recruitment on the campus was effected throughout, especially in the academic year 2015-16. In 2014-15, there was a deficit of Rs 16.26 crore, which remained unmet.

Five lows during his tenure
  • · Worst financial crisis with no grants from the Centre or the Punjab government.
  • · Controversy surrounding his wife Neera Grover
  • · Sexual harassment complaint against the V-C
  • · V-C’s controversial statement, “Senators are vultures, PU is controlled by mafia”
  • · Spats with the senators

However, professor Grover managed to bring the varsity out of the crisis as the issue is more or less settled and UGC has assured to release the grant. In a senate meeting held on December 27, 2016, V-C had said that he does not want his successor to be struggling with the same financial crisis, going on currently.

Professor Grover had even written to the Punjab government seeking a 12% rise in the grant taking the base as 2014-15. He decided to increase the tuition fee and did not change the decision even after the violent protest by the student organisations. Professor Grover kept justifying the fee hike. He did a lot of research work on the issue of financial crisis. He made presentations comparing the financial status of the past 10 or more years and how was it dealt with.

During his tenure, Panjab University managed to generate a huge amount by itself independently. In the past two-three years, PU was able to generate Rs 250-270 crore of income.

Meanwhile, another crucial issue that had made a hue and cry on the campus was the appointment of his wife Neera Grover as a professor. The decision of her appointment was highly opposed and the issue had reached the Punjab and Haryana high court. However, the court had found no fault in the issue, thus was resolved.

Also, the sexual harassment complaint filed against the vice-chancellor by one of the PU fellows remained a talking point in the syndicate and senate meetings of the varsity. An inquiry was marked into the matter and the chancellor was made to decide over the issue, special committee was formed to look into the matter and the issue remains unresolved till date.