Universities in Punjab are functioning sans full-time vice-chancellors even after seven months of AAP govt in Punjab
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Punjab- a land of Guru’s, saints has produced many renowned academicians in the past, is nowdays facing a peculiar situation- shortage of academicians to be appointed as vice chancellors, registrars in state universities.
Universities in Punjab are functioning sans full-time vice-chancellors even after seven months of AAP govt in Punjab, as at present some of the universities are without regular vice chancellors, regular registrars which are hampering the day to day working, admissions and other administrative decisions to be taken by the vice chancellor of the university. Moreover this has increased the financial expenditures of the universities as for many sanctions, approvals, the signatures on the files are required and the lower staff has to travel to the working place of the acting vice chancellor’s office to get the work done.
The worst situation arises in Punjab’s first technical university-IKG Punjab Technical University where the post of vice chancellor is vacant since August 2021. The Vice Chancellor of IKG-PTU Dr Ajay Kumar Sharma’s term had expired in May last year and the successive Capt Amarinder Singh, Charanjit Singh Channi, Bhagwant Mann govt fails to appoint any vice chancellor of Punjab’s first technical university in time. Now days, the charge of vice chancellor IKG-PTU is with Nilkanth S Avadh , secretary, technical education.
In the past around one year, the additional charge of the IKG PTU has remained with many principal secretary or secretary technical education . Ramesh Kumar Ghanta, IAS remained VC of IKGPTU from September 2021 to November 2021, Raj Kamal Chaudhuri, IAS remained VC for few days from December 2021 to December 2021, Vikas Garg , IAS from December 2021 to April 2022, Rahul Bhandari, IAS from April 2022 till October 15th 2022.
The post of vice chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot is still vacant. The state government has announced the appointment of Dr Gurpreet Singh Wander as the vice chancellor of state’s health university after former vice chancellor Dr Raj Bahadur had submitted his resignation in protest after the state health minister Chetan Singh Jauramajra publically humiliated him in July this year. But, Dr Wander withdraws his candidature after Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit rejected the move of the Punjab government to appoint Dr Wander as the VC of BFUHS citing rules and instead sought a panel of names. Dr Avnish Kumar is holding the additional charge of VC of BFUHS. Even the additional charge of registrar of state’s only medical university Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot has been given to a bureaucrat.
The recently upgraded technical college to state university — Shaheed Bhagat Singh State University at Ferozepur is also functioning without a regular V-C. The charge of Ferozepur varsity is with Dr Buta Singh, the V-C of MRS PTU, Bathinda.
Another university Sri Guru Teg Bhadaur University of Law at Tarn Taran is also without regular vice chancellor and registrar, since its inception, last year. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar vice chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh is holding the charge of this university. GNDU registrar is also the registrar of this university. The said university was established last year while celebrating the 400th Parkash Purab of Guru Teg Bhadur ji.
The post of vice chancellor Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, which is one of India’ s renowned university comes under controversy after the appointment of Dr Satbir Singh Gosal as VC in August 2022. He had replaced Dr BS Dhillon whose term ended on June 30, 2021. PAU, Ludhiana remained headless for more than a year’s period.
Almost all the universities in Punjab don’t have a regular Registrar. The university gave the additional charge of Registrar, to a university professor on temporary basis, to avoid regular appointment.
“As per the normal procedure, whenever a university is announced or set-up, the first thing the government does is appointing a regular V-C, registrar so that he can create the infrastructure on the campus and takes other decisions as per the requirement. The post of registrar is equally important in any university. It’s strange that the govt is giving the charge of vice chancellor or registrar to bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are holding these charges as additional charge, hampering the day to day working as the officer has to remain available for the administration, government, public, all the time. How can they perform dedicatedly on these key positions? All these universities are professional universities and is hampering the progress of the university” said a university faculty.
As per available information the state government has advertised the post of vice chancellors of IKGPTU, Shaheed Bhagat Singh State University, Sri Guru Teg Bhadaur University of Law in the past too. But due to unknown reasons, the post remains vacant, till today.
Meanwhile, state higher education minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer couldn’t be contacted as his number remained switched off.