Amid image crisis, file for new PTU V-C with Capt Amarinder

The search committee formed by the government had on September 20 last year suggested three names after interviewing eight applicants.

punjab Updated: Jan 16, 2018 09:54 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
PTU V-C,Rajnish Arora,Inder Kumar Gujral-Punjab Technical University
Inder Kumar Gujral-Punjab Technical University(HT File)

With the state-run Inder Kumar Gujral-Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU) suffering an image crisis after the arrest of its last full-time vice-chancellor (VC), Rajnish Arora, for alleged financial irregularities, the government has hastened the process for filling the post that is held as additional charge by a bureaucrat since 2014.

Four months after shortlisting a panel of three contenders, technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi said on Monday, “I have has sent the file to the chief minister for a final nod last week. We are hoping the university gets a regular V-C within this week or, maximum, by next week.”

Since a month after Arora’s term ended in December 2014, the charge has been with the secretary, technical education.

As for Arora, the FIR registered by the vigilance bureau says he wasted huge amount of money to give favours to people having RSS background.

The search committee formed by the government had on September 20 last year suggested three names after interviewing eight applicants: 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, a former deputy director of Thapar University, Patiala, who is now vice-chancellor of a private university in Uttarakhand.

“The matter was pending as we were taking feedback about the candidates from different quarters. There is a long, secret procedure that is carried out before reaching any final stage,” said Channi.

He added that “unlike in the SAD-BJP government, when the V-C was appointed from RSS background”, the Congress government will ensure that “only a technocrat of high standard” heads PTU.

As for Arora, the FIR registered by the vigilance bureau says he wasted huge amount of money to give favours to people having RSS background. He is also accused of recruiting persons as regular staff from the families of top RSS leaders.

The RSS and the BJP, however, have openly defended the former V-C by citing Arora’s “high academic standards”. Officers involved with the action said it was due to Channi’s “tough stand” that the VB was “compelled” to take action against Arora.

At the fag-end of the previous SAD-BJP government as well, efforts were made to appoint a regular V-C and the name of present All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman MP Punia, who was then director of National Institute of Technical Teacher’s Training and Research (NITTTR), Chandigarh, had come up.

But, even as the PTU board of governors recommended his name to the government, opposition came from the then technical education minister Madan Mohan Mittal of the BJP.

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 09:37 IST