Vice-President’s office seeks draft schedule for Panjab University senate elections
The office of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the Panjab University chancellor, has sought a draft schedule for the senate elections.
“You are requested to provide us a draft schedule for the elections to the senate of the university for placing before Vice-President of India/Chancellor of PU,” reads the letter addressed to vice-chancellor Raj Kumar on January 21.
The development comes after the varsity had conveyed to chancellor’s office that the process of conducting the senate elections has been initiated after receiving the nod from the Chandigarh administration. Earlier, the chancellor’s office had sought a proposal from the varsity on its further course of action with regards to the polls.
On January 18, PU had written a letter to the chancellor’s office to inform that the UT administration has conveyed that it has no objection to the conduct of senate polls. The varsity had also stated the process has been initiated by seeking permission from other six state governments (Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan), where polling booths of different constituencies of the senate have to be set up.
According to the letter, PU has said that the final election schedule will be proposed after the receipt of permission from the respective states. Moreover, the varsity has already requested the Punjab assembly speaker to elect two members from among themselves to the senate.
The senate is a 91-member apex governing body of the university. While 36 are nominated by the chancellor, two are 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 last year. The term of the syndicate, PU’s executive body, also ended on December 31. Its members are elected from among the senators. Hence, the university is now functioning without a governing body.
Ever since the senate elections were postponed – first in August and later in October last year – there have been a series of protests on the campus demanding immediate polls.
Former senator Ashok Goyal said: “Neither the vice-chancellor nor chancellor has any role in the election schedule. Only the date of polling is to be announced. This is a tactic to delay the elections.”
“The university should conduct the polls immediately, or things will come to a standstill after January 31,” said former senator Navdeep Goyal.
PU registrar Vikram Nayyar said: “The university will take appropriate action as soon as possible.”