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V-C’s affidavit: Senators, former PUTA presidents divided over governance reforms

On April 21, syndicate members had objected to Professor AK Grover’s submission in the court, questioning his right to do so without bringing up the matter before the syndicate, which is the varsity’s executive body. 

punjab Updated: Apr 24, 2018 15:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
V-C’s affidavit,Senators,former PUTA presidents
Grover’s second term is coming to an end in July, and search is already on for his successor. (HT File )

Two days after the Panjab University syndicate meeting witnessed an uproar over the vice-chancellor (V-C)’s affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana high court suggesting governance reforms, a section of senators have asked him to immediately withdraw it as it did not have the apex body’s approval.

On April 21, syndicate members had objected to Professor AK Grover’s submission in the court, questioning his right to do so without bringing up the matter before the syndicate, which is the varsity’s executive body.

“The V-C’s incompetence is at the root of troubles and this kind of an affidavit will affect his image. In the interest of PU, the V-C should not create controversies at the fag end of his term,” said senator Varinder Gill, who is among the senators who have written to Grover.

Grover’s second term is coming to an end in July, and search is already on for his successor.

“When the V-C can allege bogus voting in elections, he should also have mentioned other controversies surrounding him,” he said.“Also, when the court was hearing the issue of grants, there was no need for such an affidavit.”

Echoing a similar opinion, senator Rabinder Nath Sharma said: “The V-C has created an unpleasant situation in the varsity. I have been in the senate for 25 years and agree that PU governing structure need reforms but not through the high court. The governing body is there to discuss and debate it.”

However, on Monday, six former presidents of Panjab University Teachers’ Association (PUTA) — professor Akshaya Sharma, Mohammed Khalid, Promila Pathak, Ronki Ram, AS Ahluwalia and Jaspal Kaur Kang — submitted a signed document to the V-C, stating that the issue of reforms is urgent and any delay would make the varsity irrelevant in the days to come.

“As a dynamic body, the university must show its capacity to self-reflect and press for changes. We, the past presidents of PUTA, hereby, demand that the reform agenda must be taken forward with an open mind,” the letter reads. “While we acknowledge the seminal role the Panjab University senate and syndicate has played over the years, we at the same time, do feel that given the new ecology of higher education, we must not hesitate in accepting the need of reforms.”

The former PUTA presidents said as new disciplines, faculties and departments have changed the landscape of the university and there has been an emergence of private players, the present governance structure has outlived its role.

TheySay

“V-C should not create controversies at the fag end of his term.”

Varinder Gill, senator

“We acknowledge senate’s role, but must not hesitate from reforms.”

Former PUTA presidents

First Published: Apr 24, 2018 15:57 IST