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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Panjab University wants Senate’s strength trimmed down by half

Suggests greater weightage be given to teachers of the university in other constituencies of the Senate

punjab Updated: Jun 25, 2018 22:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The 90-member Panjab University Senate may be reduced to a 46-member body, if the recommendations of the governance reforms committee tabled in a meeting on Sunday are approved by the Syndicate. 

A 23-member panel constituted by vice-chancellor professor Arun Kumar Grover discussed the governance reforms report and recommended reducing the size of the Senate by half and to give greater weightage to teachers of the university in other constituencies.

The suggestion was opposed by many members present at the meeting, who were for discussing the matter at large by considering its pros and cons. 

As per the recommendations, the Senate will comprise 46 fellows, including education minister of Punjab; adviser to UT administrator; dean of university instructions, Panjab University; dean of each of the six faculties; president, Panjab University Teaching Association (PUTA); president, Panjab University Staff Association (PUSA); and president of the student council. 

Justice Bharat Bhushan Parsoon (retd), along with the other members of the committee, had submitted the governance reforms report to the V-C last week. It will now be tabled at the Syndicate meeting on July 7. 

More recommendations

Other recommended amendments were — changed composition of the Syndicate to enable it to devote greater attention to the academic matters; fair representation to women; representation of student council president in the Senate, and reducing faculties to two from current strength of four.

In the financial arrangements, it was proposed to remove a major gap in the present governance structure by making mandatory provisions for sources of finance to avoid financial crisis as faced by the university in the past couple of years. 

PUTA president professor Rajesh Gill said, “The V-C should have systematically taken feedback by putting these reforms in the public domain. Teachers and non-teaching staff should have had a say before the report is forwarded to the Syndicate. The reforms weren’t discussed completely.”

Senator Ashok Goyal said, “I wonder why the reports of other two sub-committees dealing with reforms in the PU Act and rules have not been supplied by the university to the committee on governance reforms. In light of this, it was not possible to discuss the proposed amendments.”

He added, “The committee constituted by the V-C, by a majority vote, endorsed the proposal of the V-C to take the report along with the other two reports to the Syndicate. This clearly speaks of lack of will of the V-C to bring transparency in the working of the university.”

90-member governing body

Panjab University is governed by the Senate, comprising elected members as well as those nominated by the Vice-President of India, who is also chancellor of the varsity. It has the entire management of, and superintendence over the affairs, concerns and property of the university.

Day to day affairs are taken care of by the 15-member executive body called Syndicate, where those from the Senate are elected for a year.

The 90 members of the Senate include the Punjab chief minister, education minister, adviser to the UT administrator, academicians from the university and its affiliated colleges, principals of technical and professional colleges, two members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, and 35 nominated members.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 13:56 IST