The seriousness of the Punjab government about improving educational scenario in the state can be gauged from the fact that it has not cleared any name for the appointment of new vice-chancellor at Inder Kumar Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKJ-PTU) even as it has been nearly eight months since the previous V-C’s term came to an end.
The government had started the process to appoint the new V-C after CM Parkash Singh Badal gave his nod on May 21.
The government had started the process to appoint the new vice-chancellor after chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on May 21 gave approval to constitute a four-member search committee to fill the vacancy.
The search committee comprising chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, principal secretary technical education and industrial training MP Singh, secretary technical education and industrial training Rakesh Verma and former chairman of Punjab Tractors Chander Mohan as members conducted interviews of candidates on July 6.
Documents submitted by the select committee at the meeting of the board of governors (BoG) on August 7 reveal that the name Dr MP Poonia, who is director of National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh, was recommended by the BoG for the post of V-C.
The board of governors also forwarded the file to Punjab technical education minister Madan Mohan Mittal.
VK Ratan, professor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Sanjay Marwaha, professor, SLIET, Longowal in Sangur were the other two names sent by the board of governors, with the note that Punia’s qualifications were “far above” as compared to the others interviewed by the select committee.
It has been learnt that Mittal has been sitting on the file ever since as he has some reservations on appointing Punia as the V-C.
“There is nothing like holding the file. I am yet to study the recommendations of the board of governors. As soon as I get time I will study it. The new V-C will be appointed soon,” said Mittal, when contacted.
Sources close to the minister disclosed that the minister was “miffed” over ignoring him in the selection procedure for the post of the V-C and this is the reason he has not cleared the file.
“In the past, the BJP and the RSS has played backroom role in the selection of V-Cs. Since Punia’s name was finalised without paying heed to the names suggested by the BJP-RSS, Mittal has not cleared the file,” a BoG member said, on the condition of anonymity.
Presently, secretary, technical education Rakesh Verma is holding the charge of V-C but officials said he is avoiding taking “big decisions” since the appointment of regular V-C is in the pipeline.