The ongoing tussle between state technical education minister Madan Mohan Mittal and chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal over appointment of the Kapurthala technical university vice-chancellor took a new turn on Tuesday with the minister calling the chief secretary “egoistic” and having “attitude problem”.
“Due to repeated interference of the chief secretary in my department, I have told my party that I want to quit the technical education ministry. There is no point being in a department where I don’t have a say. I don’t want to be humiliated like this,” said Mittal.
Mittal, who was here to attend the annual convocation of the Inder Kumar Gujral Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), was answering a query on the delay in appointment of varsity’s V-C. The post is vacant since January 16 last year.
The minister alleged that being the chairman of the board of governors (BoGs) of IKG-PTU Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University (MRS-PTU), Bathinda, the chief secretary was running these institutions in an arbitrary manner. “He (CS) is behaving like a king and most members of the BoG are forced to follow his orders as they fear that he might spoil their annual confidential reports (ACRs) or transfer them,” claimed Mittal.
“Such is his terror that nobody questions him. He is issuing orders without consulting me (technical education minister). The fact is that he has destroyed both the varsities because of his attitude,” said the minister
He accused the chief secretary of appointing a controversial man as a registrar in the Bathinda varsity.
“He just overruled my objections. And when principal secretary, technical education, tried to raise his concern, he was asked to keep quiet,” claimed Mittal. Mittal also blamed Kaushal for delay in appointment of the Kapurthala technical varsity V-C.
“The select committee, formed by the BoG, to select the new VC was asked to suggest three names. But the committee, led by the CS, provided only one name. I asked him a number of times to suggest two more names, but he failed to do so,” said the minister.
“I have handed over a file to the chief minister with strong remarks against the CS,” said Mittal, alleging that Kaushal has not allowed the varsity’s distance education programme to take off.
When asked he was the one who had moved the amendment in the PTU Act --- making chief secertary the new BoG chairman by replacing a prominent industrialist --- in the Vidhan Sabha, Mittal said he has made a blunder. “His arrogance is the result of this decision only. The suggestion, however, had come from the last V-C Dr Rajnish Arora,” claimed the minister.
The tussle between the minister and Kaushal started when the select committee, led by the CS, suggested name of Dr MP Poonia, director, National Institute of Technical Teachers’ Training and Research (NITTR), Chandigarh, for the post of V-C. The minister, apparently, was not too keen on Poonia so he resent the file to the BoG to suggest two more names. The BoG, however, has not done it so far.