Following the complaints of ‘ghost’ employees and corruption in the hiring of contractual staff from outsourced agencies, higher education secretary Anurag Verma, in the capacity of the acting vice-chancellor (V-C) of Punjabi University, has ordered an inquiry into the hiring of outsourced employees of sanitation, security and other departments.
In another decision, the vice-chancellor has cancelled all transfer orders that took place after July 1, 2016.
Most of the transfers were done from October to December, in the fag-end of SAD-BJP government and before the implementation of code of conduct.
The transfers were done to relocate people from Bathinda region to Patiala.
Some politically influential people even managed to get transfers to the Mohali campus from Patiala, which was against the university norms.
Sources said that Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) and other non-teaching unions raised the issue of ‘ghost’ employees being hired through outsourced agencies.
Vice-chancellor Verma has marked inquiry to Prof Dr Pushpinder Singh Gill from management studies, who will submit a report in the next 15 days.
The DTF representative, Prof Kesar Singh Bhangoo, said that the Front has submitted a written complaint that the staff hired from outsourced agencies is more than required.
“Secondly, there were many incidents where staff has been working as domestic help in selected top officials’ homes, but they have been shown as working in the university,” said Bhangoo.
“There is a need for audit to ensure that there is proper utilisation of the outsourced staff, if the staff hired is more than the university’s requirement. The audit will also check whether there is ambiguity in the payment of employees’ provident fund, as university is the principal employers while the employees are hired through outsourced agencies,” he said.
“We have flagged the issue and it has come to our notice that the V-C has marked an inquiry in this regard. We will submit our version to the inquiry officer,” he added.
Sources said that some complaints have come up alleging authorities of drawing salaries by putting names of ‘ghost’ employees, The V-C has asked for an inquiry in this matter as well.
The V-C has sought a list of permanent, ad-hoc, contractual and outsourced employees of the university.
He has already marked an inquiry into the matter of alleged embezzlement in paying EPFs, as alleged by the nonteaching employees.
In another landmark decision, the V-C has cancelled all the teaching and non-teaching staff’s transfer orders that were done after July 1, 2016.
There were many instances, where people in remote areas, where merit remains low, managed to get transferred to Patiala, Mohali or other neighbourhood campuses.
There is a no-transfer policy in the university, except in case of punishment postings. However, using political clout, many employees got transferred to the locations of their choice.
In another decision, Verma has asked the examination branch to clear pendency of all work within next week, as students are facing problem for long-pending delays to get official transcripts of certificates and other testimonials that are needed for admissions in foreign universities.