The squabble incident involving two professors of the department of microbiology at the government medical college has exposed indiscipline and bitter partisanship among faculty members.
Associate professor Dr Ashok Kumar Singla had a spat with his junior colleague, assistant professor Dr Rupinder Bakshi. Singla was reportedly upset with the fact that he was never considered for the charge of officiating chairperson by the chairperson of the microbiology department, Dr Geeta Walia, in her absence. Instead, the charge was often given to her alleged loyalist Dr Rupinder Bakshi, the junior most professor in the department.
Owing to this ego tussle, Singla had even filed a right to information (RTI) application to squeeze information about irregularities in the department.
Defending himself, Singla said there was nothing wrong in requesting for departmental charge as he is at the second place in the departmental hierarchy. He further said there is nothing wrong in filing RTIs to unearth irregularities.
Both Dr Bakshi and Dr Walia had levied allegations of misconduct against Dr Singla several times in the past.
Even as the tension between Dr Singla and Dr Bakshi was brewing for the past some time, there was no effort at any level for any possible mediation or patch up. Monday’s tiff on the other hand resulted in manhandling between the two and that too in front of a class full of second year bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) students, sending shock waves among students as well.
Strangely, both of them have attached documents with their complaints claiming that the lecture was allotted to them by Dr Geeta Walia.
When contacted, Dr Walia declined to comment on the issue, and said that she had briefed college principal K D Singh and also filed her status report.
However, KD Singh said that all the complaints by both the parties and the chairperson’s report would be tabled before the three-member committee that will take the final call on this matter. The incident is indeed unfortunate and should not have happened.
“Since one of the members was out of town, the probe will begin tomorrow and the final report will be sent to the director of the department of medical education and research for appropriate action,” he said. Faculty association condemns incident
The college’s faculty association condemned the incident and said that it should not have taken place, and that too in a classroom. General secretary Dr DS Bhullar said, “We appreciate the steps taken by higher authorities to order inquiry immediately. We will surely act as per the recommendations of the inquiry and help in restoring a healthy academic environment in the campus.” He also condemned the involvement of a doctor of medicine (MD) student (Dr Singla’s daughter) in the episode.
Inquiry committee to record students’ statements too
Apart from recording the statements of both Dr Singla and Dr Bakshi, the inquiry committee will also record the statements of students who had seen the incident eye witnesses. A member of the committee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that as many as 40 students were present when the incident took place. “We will speak to the students to dig out the real facts in the case,” he added.