PU senate green-lights online viva voce for PhD scholars

By, Chandigarh
Apr 27, 2022 01:20 AM IST

Following PU senate’ move, PhD scholars will be allowed to attend viva voce remotely, via online means, in emergent situations with V-C’s permission

Panjab University (PU) senate, during its meeting on Tuesday, approved an agenda item allowing PhD candidates to attend viva voce remotely through online mode during emergent situations with the permission from vice-chancellor (V-C).

PU senate, in its latest meeting, allowed online viva voce for the varsity’s PhD scholars. (HT File)
PU senate, in its latest meeting, allowed online viva voce for the varsity’s PhD scholars. (HT File)

The senate was deliberating on the matter of not necessitating the physical presence of candidate/candidates at the time of PhD viva voce during ongoing Covid pandemic restrictions or similar extraordinary conditions if they arise in future. PU syndicate had, in March 2020, resolved to add the provision of viva through Skype. The issue of allowing students to attend viva remotely, online, was again brought before the syndicate in May 2020, but was deferred.

The senate also approved the recommendations of the varsity’s regulation committee regarding various courses in university departments.

Separate entity for multi-purpose auditorium

The varsity senate also greenlit the establishment of a separate entity, a company under Section (8) of the Companies Act 2013, for the operation and maintenance of the multi-purpose auditorium complex at Sector 25, as per the recommendations of a committee.

The committee constituted to work out the revenue model for the auditorium in 2020 had recommended that after creation of the company, the complex could be leased out on an annual basis.

Speaking about the auditorium, senator Rajat Sandhir, said, “We should specify the kind of activities for which the multipurpose hall will be used so that the academic environment of the University is not affected. Also, there should be clarity about the rules for use of the hall by the University.”

Preponing admission schedule

A few senators raised the issue of preponing admission schedules and the changes in duration of summer vacation in colleges to avoid delays in the admission process.

Senator Inderpal Singh Sidhu, who requested the V-C to reschedule the academic calendar to facilitate timely admissions, said, “There is a need for the admission process to be initiated in colleges timely, as students are moving to private and other Universities,” he said.

Sidhu batted for summer vacations being at least one-month-long for the college teachers.

Others also raised the issue of non-implementation of the reservation in promotion for the non-teaching staff of the University, which was approved, ‘in principle’, in the last senate meeting.

Senator Sandeep Sikri, said, “The University should implement the roster policy for reservation in promotion timely and till that time university should also not carry out any promotion among the non-teaching staff.”

PUTA gives proposal for central service rules

During the senate meeting, Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president put forward a proposal batting for the adoption of Centre’s service rules notified for Chandigarh employees. The proposal was endorsed by a few other senators as well.

A ruckus also erupted amid deliberation over the consolidation of the smaller cognate departments of the University as recommended by the NAAC in 2015.


    Dar Ovais is a Chandigarh-based Hindustan Times correspondent who covers higher education.

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