In a controversial move, the board of directors of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) on Wednesday appointed Gurinder Pal Singh Bath as the board secretary. Bath, who holds an MTech degree through distance education, does not have the requisite qualification and experience for the post.
During the board of directors's meeting on Wednesday, Bath's name was cleared for the appointment, subject to the verification of his degree, which he got from Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) earlier this year.
The university does not have permission to run a masters course in technical education through distance education as per norms of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).
While granting permission for the secretary's appointment, the Punjab government had mentioned that the candidate holding the maximum administrative experience among the six-member panel should be appointed. Bath, who has been working as a chief engineer in the board, has no administrative experience.
As per the norms, the basic qualification for the secretary's post is postgraduation degree with at least 50% marks or Bachelor of Law (LLB) from a recognised university and 20 years' experience in teaching, including five years as circle education officer (or its equivalent) or eight years' experience as principal of a degree college (or its equivalent) or five years of administrative experience in a university not below the rank of deputy secretary or five years of administrative experience as a deputy secretary or in equivalent capacity in the board's office.
Besides, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer or a Punjab Civil Services (PCS) executive branch officer with five years' experience can also be sent on deputation as the board secretary.
When contacted, PSEB chairperson Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal said the appointment had been made unanimously on merit and there were no violations. She added that the appointment had been made subject to verification of the PG degree (MTech).
Two months ago, previous incumbent Balwinder Singh had to resign from the post after his appointment was challenged in the Punjab and Haryana high court, alleging violations by the board.
Extra marks for sports
The board of directors of the PSEB decided to given 15 additional marks to students of classes 11 and 12 who will represent the state in sports and 25 marks for representation at the national and international levels. The marks will be awarded besides the five grace marks which are given to all students.