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Poor attendance ails Panjab University senate

Some of the senators have not turned up for even one of 10 meetings held so far. The maximum strength has varied between 60 and 70.

punjab Updated: Feb 19, 2018 09:39 IST
Ifrah Mufti
Ifrah Mufti
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University,Chandigarh,Punjab
City’s member of Parliament and a PU alumna herself, Kirron Kher, was present in only two senate sessions. (HT)

Constituted to manage the affairs, concerns and property of Panjab University, its senate has not seen full attendance of its 91 members since its four-year tenure began in December 2016.

Some of the senators have not turned up for even one of 10 meetings held so far. The maximum strength has varied between 60 and 70.

When the senate met on February 17, about 45 of the 91 members were present.

Ex-officio members of the senate — Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar, Punjab higher education minister Aruna Chaudhary, adviser to UT administrator Parimal Rai, Punjab higher education director Harjit Singh and UT higher education director Rakesh Kumar Popli — have never attended a meeting.

According to a senate regulation, if a nominated senator does not attend the meeting even once, his or her replacement can be recommended. But this has never happened on the campus.

Other senators, who are yet to mark their presence at a senate congress, are Punjab MLAs Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Dr Raj Kumar Chabbewal; former Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental, and Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma, department of otalaryngology, AIIMS, Delhi. Sources said the two MLAs had voted in the syndicate elections, but never attended a meeting.

PU emeritus professor Dr Amod Gupta; Daily Milap managing editor Poonam Suri; Pramod Kumar, director, Institute for Development of Communication, and chairperson, Punjab Governance Reforms Commission; Baljinder Singh, department of nuclear medicine, PGIMER; Dr Amar Singh, a retired bureaucrat from Ludhiana, and Justice Harbans Lal (retd), have attended the meeting only once or twice.

According to a senate regulation, if a nominated senator does not attend the meeting even once, his or her replacement can be recommended. But this has never happened on the campus.

Another senator Sanjay Tandon, president of the Chandigarh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party, and member of the administrative advisory council, has attended the meeting just twice. Sources said Tandon was a regular at the varsity’s Board of Finance (BoF) meetings, but skipped senate meets.

City’s member of Parliament and a PU alumna herself, Kirron Kher, was present in only two senate sessions.

On her part, Kher said, “The university decides the meeting date and sends it. I am sometimes in Delhi for Parliament session or for a standing committee meeting. So it’s not always possible for me to attend senate meetings. If the dates don’t clash in the future, I will surely attend them.”

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 09:36 IST