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Thursday, October 15, 1998
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Powers of VCs curtailed
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

AMRITSAR, Oct 14 — After a virtual ban on appointment of the teaching and research staff, the state government has "banned" the filling of non-teaching posts till further orders in Guru Nanak Dev University and Punjabi University. This may adversely affect their functioning.

This is for the first time that the state government has directed the Vice-Chancellors not to fill the posts. Educationists consider the "ban" as an attempt to clip the wings of the Vice-Chancellors.

More than 100 posts of the teaching and research faculty and at least 50 of the non-teaching staff have been lying vacant in Guru Nanak Dev University. The university had given advertisements in leading newspapers for filling the vacancies. However, due to the "ban" by the government these posts could not be filled.

Mr Rakesh Singh, Education Secretary, has asked the Vice-Chancellors of both universities not to fill any post till the submission of required information on the status of various posts to the state government.

Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Mr J.S. Puar, Vice-Chancellor Punjabi University, Patiala, reportedly met the Governor-cum-Chancellor of the universities, Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber, recently on the issue. They reportedly urged the Governor to prevail upon the state government to withdraw the ban as higher education in the state was at a loss. Both Vice-Chancellors have given details of various posts lying vacant in the universities to the state government, it is learnt.

Dr H.S. Soch, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, when contacted, refused to comment.

However, the Registrar, Dr R.S. Bawa, said the working of the university would be adversely affected as several posts of junior data entry operator-cum-clerk, junior technician and steno-typist were lying vacant.

President of the Guru Nanak Dev University Non-Teaching Employees Association Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa, talking to TNS, said the state government had no locus standi to "ban" recruitment by the universities. He said only the Chancellor could take such a step in "emergency situations".

It may be mentioned here that Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, Minister of Higher Education, had justified the "temporary ban" on recruitment in the universities, saying it was a step to "rationalise" appointments.

Both Vice-Chancellors are likely to meet Mr Murli Manohar Joshi, Human Resource Development Minister, tomorrow during his proposed visit to Patiala. Mr Joshi will be the chief guest at the annual convocation of the Thapar Engineering Institute.

They are also likely to ask the minister to direct the state government to release the salaries of teachers for the strike period.

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