‘Anomalies’ in working of Punjabi varsity: Inquiry reports to be discussed in next Syndicate meet

In a Syndicate meeting in August last year, a three-member subcommittee was formed to look into the findings of the inquiry reports compiled by a two-member probe panel
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Updated on Feb 21, 2020 11:31 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Patiala | By, Patiala

Almost three years on, the Punjabi University is yet to fix responsibility and take action against the erring officials and employees on the basis of findings of the inquiry reports related to allegations of corruption, nepotism and misuse of funds during 2007-2017.

In a Syndicate meeting in August last year, a three-member subcommittee was formed to look into the findings of the inquiry reports compiled by a two-member probe panel, which included former IAS officer Jagjit Puri and former IPS officer VK Kapoor, as recommended by vice-chancellor (V-C) Prof BS Ghuman, to fix responsibility on the erring officials.

V-C yet to take action

Sources said that the committee found that the complaints of hiring 64 teachers in violation of the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) rules, financial and administrative irregularities, hiring some candidates on forged caste certificates, were correct and asked the V-C to take action by fixing responsibility on the officials concerned.

A former official, pleading anonymity, said, “I have given noting on the file that some caste certificates seem to be fake. A candidate had made a caste certificate on the basis of the caste of her husband, while the Supreme Court states that caste is by birth. However, my advise was ignored.”

The subcommittee reports, submitted in 2018, propose that the university should initiate action on the basis of the inquiry reports involving financial irregularities and causing financial dent to the university’s fiscal health. However, no action has been taken since then.

V-C Prof Ghuman said that some of the reports were discussed in the last Syndicate meeting while the rest will be discussed in the meeting scheduled for March.

“Let me promise this through the media that the guilty, whosoever they might be, will be punished,” he added.

He said that he has asked the Syndicate to hold a meeting in the first week of March.


Following the resignation of former vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Jaspal Singh in March 2017, the then secretary higher education Anurag Verma was appointed as the officiating V-C.

Verma had received complaints of alleged irregularities in the university’s functioning from 2007 to 2017. These included allegations of nepotism, corruption, and bungling of funds in the examination branch, among other issues.

On the basis of these complaints, Verma had ordered 14 internal inquiries in April, 2017. The sealed reports of these were handed over to incumbent V-C Prof BS Ghuman in December, 2017.

The V-C had formed a two-member committee, comprising of former IAS officer Jagjit Puri and former IPS officer VK Kapoor, to further investigate the internal inquiry reports.

The panel had submitted its sealed findings to the university in July, 2018. The varsity syndicate had not opened inquiry report related to purchase of fire extinguishers worth 80 lakh.

The reports included alleged illegal recruitment of 65 assistant professors between 2009 to 2016, a flawed procedure in recruiting assistant professors at constituent colleges, giving priority to waiting list candidates in teaching and non-teaching departments, recruitment of outsourced employees, recruitment of teachers on fake SC/BC certificates, purchase of paper case and answer book case at higher prices, giving undue promotions, faulty purchase of software distant education department and examination branch, incorrect pay fixation, and giving service extensions to retiree employees.

A senior official privy to inside information, pleading anonymity, said that the inquiry reports submitted by two-member probe panel came as dejection. Instead of suggesting stringent actions and logical conclusion, the reports mentioned advisories for the university to avoid such negligence in future.

“To further examine these reports, a three-member subcommittee was formed,” an official said.


    A principal correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

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