Row over PhD admissions at Sirsa varsity after Dushyant makes the cut

Published on Mar 10, 2022 01:25 AM IST
A controversy has erupted at Sirsa’s Chaudhary Devi Lal University after Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala cleared an entrance for a PhD under its journalism and mass communication department with many aspiring candidates accusing the institution of tweaking the norms to facilitate his entry into the course
Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Singh Chautala (HT File)
Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Singh Chautala (HT File)
BySunil Rahar, Rohtak

A controversy has erupted at Sirsa’s Chaudhary Devi Lal University after Haryana deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala cleared an entrance for a PhD under its journalism and mass communication department with many aspiring candidates accusing the institution of tweaking the norms to facilitate his entry into the course.

The university, however, has termed the charges as baseless, saying that proper procedure was followed. The department on Tuesday evening released the final list of 11 students, including Chautala, who have cleared the written test and interview rounds.

However, many aspiring candidates, who did not make it to the final list, alleged that the university authorities did not share the written and interview marks and names of the qualified candidates unlike other departments.

The merit list carried only roll numbers of 11 candidates and it was neither signed by any of the three committee members nor it carried the stamp of the university or any of these three members, they claimed.

The students also alleged that the department re-conducted the entrance exam on March 6 as Chautala did not appear on February 17, when the exam was conducted for the first time.

The varsity had conducted a written examination for PhD admissions on February 17 in its 16 departments.

The journalism department provided the question paper in English medium only, while it was bi-lingual in other departments, except for the language course, prompting a student to lodge a written complaint before the authorities to conduct a re-examination.

The journalism department re-conducted the PhD entrance exam on March 6 in which Chautala appeared. The candidates and Opposition leaders alleged that the authorities did not provide bi-lingual paper to aspirants so that they could conduct a retest as per Chautala’s convenience.

“It is doubtful why the journalism department’s question paper was in English only. If the department wanted to enrol him, he could have been given admission in supernumerary seats,” two students, who gave the written exam on March 6 said. They also accused the teachers of giving special treatment to Chautala by arranging a special chair and table for him during the entrance exam.

Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet, “all rules, norms and merits are for Haryana youths only not for deputy CM Dushyant Chautala. Will Khattar government reply, why two papers were conducted. Did Dushyant appear in the first exam and why were the norms in the merit changed.”

“Chautala had topped in the general category in the entrance and it would be interesting to see whether the department changes some rules or not for Chautala as every scholar has to attend physical classes for six months during course work. Some relief can be given to him. Journalism department’s HOD Amit Sangwan will be his guide,” said a senior functionary at the CLDU.

CDLU vice-chancellor Prof Ajmer Singh Malik rejected the allegations and said all norms have been followed in the entire process and some people have a habit of finding wrong things in every good work.

“We are responsible people. All norms have been followed in the PhD entrance exams, not in journalism and mass communication, but in all departments,” the VC said.

Sangwan, the head of the journalism department, did not reply to HT’s phone calls and text messages regarding the matter.

Chautala’s media coordinator Satish Beniwal said that the deputy CM does not want to comment on this issue. “He had studied in the US and is a qualified person. He had cleared the written exam and made into the cut-off. These allegations are politically motivated,” he added.

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