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Ad hocism hits Punjabi varsity, V-C fails to clear ‘mess’

It has been more than a year since Prof BS Ghuman took charge as V-C, he has failed to clear the mess he inherited from his predecessor.

punjab Updated: Oct 11, 2018 16:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patiala
Punjabi University,Department of education,op soni
Security arrangements were beefed up at Punjabi University in Patiala.(Bharat Bhushan/HT)

With students protesting for nearly three weeks over the demand for round-the-clock hostel entry for girls and ensuing violent clash between two groups on Tuesday, the authorities have been forced to shut Punjabi University, Patiala, twice in the last 20 days.

Be it the issue of graft, illegal recruitment, violation of rules during the tenure of previous vice-chancellor Prof Jaspal Singh or a scam in the examination branch and the ongoing protests under the incumbent V-C, Prof BS Ghuman, the university is not new to controversies.

But now questions are being raised over Prof Ghuman’s alleged failure to resolve the issues that have cost the university dear.

It has been more than a year since he took charge as V-C, Prof Ghuman has failed to clear the mess he inherited from his predecessor. He has failed to make permanent appointments of the registrar, examination controller, finance officer, dean (colleges), director (youth welfare), director (public relations) among other important posts which are being handled on ad hoc basic.

While some professors are holding two or three prominent positions, others rue that they have not been given any administrative roles despite their seniority.

Moreover, admissions to the varsity have nosedived with nearly 50 per cent engineering seats lying vacant besides a total chaos prevailing in the examination branch as results for the exams taken in 2017 have not been declared.

Also, the outsourced staff hired through a contractor via tendering process managed to get a salary increase by arm-twisting varsity authorities.

And when the V-C took some decision, it boomeranged. He had to withdraw his decision to suspend a coach, Dalbir Randhawa, who had misbehaved with the varsity finance officer who resigned later.

After he failed to end the logjam with the protesting students who held some wardens hostage, as many as eight wardens, the provost, and the director (student welfare) resigned from their posts.

“I know him (Dr Ghuman) before I joined Punjabi University. He specialises in the art of indecision. Inaction and indecisiveness is proving costly to the university and he is facing the brunt,” said a university teacher requesting anonymity.

“Had he acted on the inquiry reports indicting corrupt officials for wrongdoings, he would have been placed better. Some bad elements trying to take advantage of the present situation should have been in vigilance net,” he added.

When contacted, Prof Ghuman said since he is trying to bring in transparency in the functioning of the varsity he is facing some hurdles.

“All demands except the one for round-the-clock hostel entry for girls have been met. The demand was rejected by the majority of students but we are still open to discuss the issue to reach a consensus. We have prepared a roadmap to end ad hocism. I am hopeful that all issues will be resolved in the coming days,” he said.

First Published: Oct 10, 2018 21:25 IST