PU V-C attacks Syndicate, Senate, says affidavit 24-carat golden truth
Panjab University vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover on Monday lashed out at the Syndicate and Senate, accusing the apex statutory governing bodies of using preHinssure tactics to force him to withdraw an affidavit he had submitted in the Punjab and Haryana high court, recommending reforms in governance of the region’s oldest university.
Grover’s attack came a day after the Syndicate withdrew powers it had vested with the vice-chancellor whose second term ends next month. A professor of physics, Grover has mostly been at loggerheads with senators and syndics during his six years as V-C.
But his affidavit on April 17, without bringing it first before the Syndicate, angered senators and syndics and escalated their conflict with the V-C to a new level.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Grover minced no words in conveying that both Syndicate and Senate members had ganged up against him. “They are all one and the reality is the vice-chancellor has no option against them,” he said. “Their only purpose is to keep pressure on the V-C to get their work done,” he said, calling the senators and syndics “subparts which make the whole.”
The affidavit has made a strong case for reforms in both the Senate and Syndicate that comprise elected or nominated members from colleges and the university and other public figures.
Grover pinpointed how groupism and power politics in the governing bodies was affecting the university’s functioning.
Standing his ground
Peeved at what they deemed an overstepping of his authority, both the Senate and Syndicate asked Grover to withdraw the affidavit. But Grover has stuck to his guns, prompting the Syndicate to strip him off the powers delegated to the V-C.
Asserting that his affidavit was the “golden truth”, Grover said, “It’s a criminal act to force somebody to withdraw an affidavit. I am a respondent in the case and was asked by the court to explain. I had also submitted the affidavit in October 2016, suggesting governance reforms. It is nothing new.” “It is the golden truth… 24 carat gold. It exposes them (Syndicate/Senate) with evidence. They know it. They will get flak from the court for forcing me to withdraw the affidavit,” he said.
On groupism, he said, “Are they going to suffer? The university and the society will suffer. None of them will suffer. Their only loyalty is to themselves. Their interest is not in the university.” About the affidavit, he said, “It took me a while to understand things and then come up with solutions. If I have given my personal opinion, why do they have a problem? But they feel ‘How dare you do it?”“The affidavit is the beginning of an end of the Senate’s and Syndicate’s stranglehold on the governance of the university,” he said.