Panjab University senators close ranks against outgoing V-C, call him dictator
The syndics strongly objected to the words “dons” and “gangsterism” used by Grover in an interview published in Hindustan Times on July 5, just two weeks before his six-year tenure comes to an end.Updated: Jul 09, 2018 10:45 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
All but one elected members of the Panjab University (PU) syndicate boycotted its meeting on Saturday in protest against repeated accusations made against them by vice-chancellor Arun K Grover, who has been pushing for governance reforms in the varsity.
The syndics strongly objected to the words “dons” and “gangsterism” used by Grover in an interview published in Hindustan Times on July 5, just two weeks before his six-year tenure comes to an end.
The V-C, in the interview, had said how senators have “strangulated” PU and fear governance reforms because it will finish their “stranglehold” over the varsity.
PU is governed by a 90-member senate, comprising elected and nominated members. Day-to-day affairs are taken care of by a 15-member executive body called syndicate, where those from the senate are elected for a year.
Among the elected members, only Prof Ronki Ram turned up for the syndicate meeting on Saturday. After waiting for an hour, it was called off for the want of quorum around 11:30am.
Meanwhile, eleven senate members, including syndics Sanjay Tandon, Subhash Sharma, Ashok Goyal, Navdeep Goyal, Keshav Malhotra, IS Sidhu and Prabhjit Singh, held a press conference on Saturday to object to the comments made by the V-C. Accusing him of being a “dictator”, the senators said they will not attend any meeting under his chairmanship.The senate meeting is scheduled for Sunday.
Nineteen senators, including Shelley Walia and Anu Chatrath, also wrote a letter to the chancellor and V-C, stating that in view of his recent interview, they will not attend any meeting chaired by him and that he should be directed not to make appointments or take policy decisions till his term expires.
’Grover insulted governing bodies’
“The V-C has said that senators have their own political agenda and they have done nothing for the financial or academic situation of the varsity. We cannot attend a meeting presided over by a man who has insulted the governing bodies,” said Ashok Goyalduring the press briefing.
Calling Grover a “dictator”, IS Sidhu said: “He wants governing bodies to act according to him. In a democracy, there are no groups but opinions.”
Anu Chatrath objected to the V-C using Late GK Chatrath’s name while talking about issues in the governing bodies. “How can he talk like this about a man who gave 44 years of his life to the university and never took a penny?”
The senators also accused the V-C of prejudice on various agendas, specifically mentioning the appointment of his wife in the music department.
“People with academic merit have been ignored by the V-C,” said Shelley Walia, while accusing him of not maintaining decorum during meetings whenever questioned on issues concerning him.
‘V-C has mismanaged varsity’s finances’
“If the V-C had used his energy for betterment of the varsity, it would have been on the top. However, he has created a low-level image for the varsity. It is he who has mismanaged the finances,” said senator Keshav Malhotra
Ashok Goyal said the V-C spent ₹44 lakh on the renovation of his residence while Rs 11 lakh were given for the registrar’s house.
On V-C’s allegation that the fee hike violence was “instigated”, Goyal alleged, “Where was the V-C on the day of the violence? What was the emergency to leave the varsity? It is he who designed the violence.”
Pointing to the number of agenda items put up in the recent meetings, Sanjay Tandon objected to Grover’s “hurry” just before his term is expiring.
“When a state election happens, the election commission takes over and no major policy decisions or appointments take place. However, the V-C is hurrying into all important decisions,” he said.
First Published: Jul 08, 2018 11:41 IST