Panjab University senate meeting adjourned as 73 of 90 members stay away
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Panjab University senate meeting adjourned as 73 of 90 members stay away

Despite meeting quorum, senators vote to postpone meeting to give others another chance to attend.

punjab Updated: Jul 09, 2018 15:44 IST
Arshdeep Arshi
Arshdeep Arshi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Panjab University,Panjab University senate meeting
(HT File)

A day after Panjab University syndicate members boycotted its meeting and senators held a press meet to slam outgoing vice-chancellor AK Grover, the senate meeting was adjourned after deliberations for nearly two hours, taking into account the absence of a majority of members.

However, no new date was decided for holding the meeting. Grover’s tenure comes to an end on July 22.

Of the 90 elected and nominated members, only 16 turned up for the Sunday meeting besides the representative of the Punjab director of public instructions. A quorum of 15 members is needed to convene the meeting.

Earlier on Saturday, 19 senators had written to the V-C as well as the chancellor, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, stating that they would not attend any meeting under Grover’s chairmanship because of the language he used for them. Eleven senators,including Sanjay Tandon, Ashok Goyal, Anu Chatrath and Navdeep Goyal, also held a press conference to object to the V-C’s comments in an interview to Hindustan Times and called him a “dictator”.

The senate on Sunday had to take a call on complaints of sexual harassment against an associate professor besides discussing governance reforms, which have remained the bone of contention between the governing bodies and the V-C.

As most senators skipped the meeting, the adjournment was put to vote. Of the 15 members present at the time, seven voted in its favour, six wanted to hold the meeting while two remained neutral.

‘Not in interest of university’

It was senator Jarnail Singh who was the first to propose that as most members are not present, the meeting should be postponed. To this, IS Chadha objected and said: “It is not in the interest of the university.”

Prof RP Bambah, a former V-C, too said that matters of urgency should be taken up. Senator VK Sibal called the decision of the other members to skip the meeting “undemocratic”.

Meanwhile, senator HS Gosal, while supporting the postponement, said: “If we continue, it would be seen as the V-C called his accomplices and took the decisions he wanted.” Ameer Sultana, Narinder Sidhu and Dalip Kumar, too, requested for the meeting to be adjourned.

“All of us have come for the institution. However, I still feel that we should adjourn the meeting and send a message that the senate did meet but waited for others to come,” said Prof Ronki Ram, who was the only elected member to turn up for the syndicate meeting on Saturday as well.

‘Teachers, students should not suffer’

Senator Chaman Lal said that if the members had any resentment, they should have expressed it in the meeting.

“Administrative matters should be taken up so that the teachers and students do not suffer,” he said. Supporting it, senator Rabinder Nath Sharma said he doubted if the members will turn up on the next date of meeting. Even dean, students’ welfare, Emanual Nahar requested the members that urgent matters regarding hostels should be taken up.

When the senators proposed to hold the meeting after two days, the V-C — who was in favour of taking up some agenda items in the interest of the varsity — said it was not possible as he has to attended the Punjab and Haryana high court on July 10.

“I will seek an appointment with the chancellor on July 11 and report everything to him to seek his guidance,” he said.

First Published: Jul 09, 2018 15:44 IST