3 names shortlisted two months ago, Punjab Technical University still without V-C
The university awaits a regular V-C for three years nowpunjab Updated: Dec 07, 2017 12:57 IST
Much like the previous SAD-BJP regime, the Congress government seems in no mood to appoint a regular vice-chancellor for Inder Kumar Gujral-Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), Kapurthala, even after receiving a shortlisted panel of three names two months ago.
The university awaits a regular V-C for three years now, ever since Rajnish Arora’s term ended in December 2014. The month after that, the charge was given to the secretary, technical education, and that arrangement continues.
This September 20, a search committee formed by the state government suggested three names after interviewing eight applicants. They are Ajay Sharma, former director of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Delhi; Yogender Yadav, former director of Swaran Singh National Institute of Renewal Energy, Kapurthala; and KK Raina, former deputy director of Thapar University, who is now vice-chancellor of a private university in Uttarakhand.
Technical education minister Charanjit Channi said, “We are taking feedback about the candidates from different quarters before reaching any final decision. The government is likely to take a final call shortly.”
But this has been the line taken by the minister and officers for weeks now.
About money and control
Sources in the department say the final call may be delayed further as the government is “in no mood leave the cash-rich varsity into autonomous hands”.“In the absence of a regular V-C, indirectly the government has full control over the finances with a bureaucrat holding charge,” said a senior functionary who did not wish to be named.
Officials also said the state government has spent “more than Rs 10 crore” from the kitty of the IKG-PTU on different activities of the departments of industry and technical education.
Further, sources said the government is planning to pump in Rs 100 crore from the varsity into a flagship programme for startups.“A V-C from an academic background will not easily allow diversion of the money of an autonomous body,” said an official.
The previous SAD-BJP government had also planned to divert Rs 400 crore from the varsity to set up Maharaja Ranjit Singh Technical University in Bathinda. However, when employees fought the case up to the Supreme Court, that was stopped.
Channi refuted the charges. “The delay is there only because we are verifying credentials of the candidates,” he insisted.