Senate polls: Chandigarh admn asks PU to take decision on its own
Senate polls: Chandigarh admn asks PU to take decision on its own

Senate polls: Chandigarh admn asks PU to take decision on its own

The deputy commissioner’s response came after the university once again sought advice from the administration regarding conducting the senate polls, which have been on hold since August last year
By Dar Ovais, Chandigarh
PUBLISHED ON JAN 13, 2021 10:05 PM IST

Stating that it has no objection to the Panjab University senate elections, the Chandigarh administration has informed the varsity that it should take a decision to conduct them on its own.

The response from the Chandigarh deputy commissioner came after the university once again sought advice from the administration regarding conducting the senate polls, which have been on hold since August last year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, in a letter to the registrar-cum-returning officer, the deputy commissioner responded, “The decision regarding holding of senate election and fixation of schedule is to be taken by Panjab University on its own. This office has no objection to holding of any such elections subject to strict observation of Covid-19 protocols as notified from time to time by the Government of India and UT administration.”

In October last year, the UT administration had advised PU to continue with its previous decision to postpone the senate elections to avoid the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Pending since August

The senate is a 91-member apex governing body of the university. While 36 are nominated by the Vice-President of India (who is also the university chancellor), two are nominated from the Punjab legislative assembly, six are ex-officio members and the remaining 47 are elected.

The four-year term of the previous senate ended on October 31, 2020. While the elections were scheduled in August last year, these were postponed twice by vice-chancellor (V-C) Raj Kumar due to the pandemic.

The one-year term of the syndicate, which is PU’s executive body and elected from among the senators, also ended on December 31, leaving the varsity without a governing body.

Ever since the senate elections were postponed by the V-C for the first time on August 15, the rival group (Goyal alliance), which had majority in senate and syndicate, has been at loggerheads with him.

“What we were demanding has proved to be correct. The UT administration ought not to have any objection to the senate polls,” said former senator Ashok Goyal. “Now, we urge the V-C to immediately announce the dates of polling for various constituencies of senate and we hope that good sense will prevail.”

PU registrar Vikram Nayyar said: “We are initiating the process. The varsity will look into how to conduct the senate polls while following all safety norms.”

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