PU V-C Raj Kumar resigns amid corruption allegations
Resignation accepted by vice-president of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is also the chancellor; dean, university instruction, Renu Vig to discharge responsibilities of the vice-chancellor till further orders
Amid allegations of corruption in Panjab University (PU), vice-chancellor (V-C) Raj Kumar resigned from his post, almost a year-and-a-half before the end of his second term. Kumar is said to have tendered his resignation on January 10 citing personal reasons, which was accepted by Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar, the varsity Chancellor, on January 13.
According to the Chancellor’s order, dean university instructions (DUI) Renu Vig will discharge the responsibilities of V-C till further orders.
Kumar is the second PU V-C to have resigned before the end of his tenure. Earlier, Professor RP Bambah, who was the V-C from 1985 to 1991, had requested the Chancellor to let him retire in 1991 at the start of his third term, due to his desire to stay in the USA.
It has been learnt that Kumar, who was appointed the 13th V-C of PU in 2018 and given an extension in 2021, was made to resign after several representations were sent to the Chancellor by a group of senators and Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA), alleging malpractices in the institution. He also reportedly made two visits to the Chancellor’s office in January.
Kumar remained unavailable for comments despite several attempts.
Both terms of the V-C had remained controversial and he had been at loggerheads with the PUTA and the previous senate and syndicate members. It was only last year that Kumar managed to get the majority of senators and syndicate members on his side.
The last senate meeting on December 30 had ended mid-way after a group of senators demanded a statement from Raj Kumar over the corruption allegations.
PUTA welcomes move
Reacting to V-C Raj Kumar’s resignation, PUTA on Monday expressed gratitude towards varsity chancellor, Jagdeep Dhankar. The teachers’ body, in a letter to the chancellor, stated that Dhankar has initiated the process of pulling out PU from the dark period and restoring its glory.
PUTA president Supinder Kaur said it is for the first time in the history of PU that a concerted struggle of teachers has led to the ouster of a V-C, who is being accused of indulging in serious acts of corruption. “We are immensely grateful to the Chancellor who has saved the university from further deterioration. We look forward to the restoration of the lost glory of our university,” she said.
Renu Vig first woman to hold PU V-C’s chair
Professor Renu Vig, who assumed charge as PU V-C on Monday after Raj Kumar’s resignation, is the first woman in the history of the university to hold the chair. A professor at varsity’s University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), she was appointed DUI in February last year. She was also PU’s dean research before being appointed as DUI.
As per PU Act, the Chancellor has the power to give charge of V-C to the senior-most senator of the University, in case the V-C resigns or the post falls vacant.