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Nepotism row: Recruitments at Nangal college to be scrapped

90% from Rupnagar alone: Local bodies department had ordered probe that found no irregularity even as kin of speaker Rana’s aide among those picked, but minister Sidhu says hiring to be redone.

punjab Updated: Jun 12, 2018 12:02 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Nepotism row,Recruitments at Nangal college
Government-run Shivalik College of Pharmacy at Nangal.(File)

Days after an inquiry found “no irregularities” in allotment of government plots to six persons living on the farm of Punjab assembly speaker Rana KP Singh, another probe has come as an embarrassment for him and the ruling Congress.

Following an internal vigilance probe into charges of nepotism in recruitment of 48 staff (20 teaching and 28 non-teaching) at the government-run Shivalik College of Pharmacy at Nangal, in the assembly segment (Anandpur Sahib) represented by Rana, the department of local bodies has decided to scrap all the new recruitments.

Established in 1983, the college is affiliated to Punjab Technical University and financed by the municipal council of Nangal. Its managing committee is constituted by the state governor, and the director, local bodies, is the chairman of the committee, according to its website.

The inquiry was marked after complaints from unsuccessful candidates and allegations that over 90% of the posts went to those from Rupnagar district, mainly those with political influence, including a daughter of a close aide of Rana, a former councillor’s daughter-in-law, former improvement trust chairman’s daughter-in-law, and a brother of the Nangal block Congress president.

Also, 12 Class-IV employees recruited too are learnt to have come through recommendations. Rana had denied any role when the issue rocked the state assembly during the budget session in March when opposition Shiromani Akali Dal sought his resignation.

The merit list also had daughters of college principal DK Prasad’s daughter, an associate professor’s wife, and daughters of another college staffer. Though the probe report, a copy of which is with HT, says “prima facie no serious irregularity was found”, the department has decided to scrap the recruitment “in view of public sentiment that 90% of selected candidates were from Rupnagar alone and to promote transparency”.

Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said the decision was taken owing to the serious aspersions cast on the recruitments and “to keep the faith of people in the government”.

The recruitment examination, conducted by the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, will be held again and all candidates who had applied earlier can appear for it without paying any examination fee.

Box

What happened when

*Vacancies advertised on Nov 1, 2017

*Written examination held in Feb 2018

*Number of posts was 60 (20 teaching, 28 non-teaching, 12 Class-IV)

*Interviews were held on March 9, and the results came out the next day

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 11:31 IST