Since Punjab technical education minister Madan Mohan Mittal has expressed unhappiness over just one name being proposed by the board of governors (BoG) for the post of vice-chancellor of IK Gujral-Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), the selection of the new V-C is set to linger on further with the board going to discuss the issue in its meeting in Chandigarh on Monday.
Even as the appointment agenda was listed in the BoG meeting following the minister’s directions, sources said it was highly unlikely that the board chaired by chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal will suggest more names for the post.
During the previous BoG meeting on July 7, the board and the state government-constituted selection panel had suggested to the minister the name of MP Punia, director, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training & Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh.
Citing Punia’s educational credentials for the post as “far above” when compared to two other contenders, the board had forwarded his name for the minister’s final approval.
The minister after sitting on the file for over a month sent back the same to the BoG, demanding addition of “stronger names” for the post.
Sources said Mittal is upset over the way the BoG suggested only one name for the post as he is left with no chance to have his say over the matter.
Also, since the previous V-C of the varsity, Rajnish Arora, had the backing of the saffron ideologue Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), sources in the BJP revealed that the minister raised reservation over Punia’s appointment as he is considered “neutral” and the Sangh maintaining pressure to appoint its man in the post.
Sources said the BoG to follow the minister’s orders could ask the selection panel to invite fresh applications for the post. The BoG is not likely to suggest more names from those already interviewed for the post. Sources also revealed that some board members may give a presentation before the chairman in Punia’s favour.
Mittal, when contacted, said, “The government is very keen to appoint the V-C soon and as I get more names from the BoG, things would be on the right track.”
The V-C’s post is lying vacant since January and the secretary, technical education, RK Verma is holding the charge on temporary basis.