Wednesday, April 11, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Working sans appointment
PTU staffers retained on verbal orders only
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, April 10
Ever heard of an entire university staff being retained on verbal orders? Punjab Technical University in Jalandhar has this dubious distinction.

The university was set up by the Punjab Government in 1997 to stop the outflow of engineering students to other states and impart them quality education in their own state. However, unfortunately, the university has been known more for scandals and serious allegations ranging from leakage of papers to selling them and alterations in the answersheets by some “unscrupulous” employees. After the unearthing of a paper leakage scam by The Tribune about a fortnight back, the university authorities had sacked four of its employees.

Now another fact has come to light: Almost all of its about 80 employees have been retained by the university authorities on verbal orders. More shocking is that they have been working on their respective positions for the past more than three years without having received any appointment letters from the university authorities. And it is a matter of surprise how they have been drawing their salaries for such a long period without any proper appointment or having received appointment letters.

Dr H.S. Gurm, Vice-Chancellor of the university, admitted that no written orders had been issued by the university to the staff. But he added that this had been done before his appointment as VC last year.

A four-member inquiry committee, which was formed by the Punjab Technical Education Minister, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, to probe the paper selling and leakage scam, observed that such appointments were a major reason for the irregularities in the university.

Investigations revealed that while employees had been appointed, none of them was made to submit his or her educational certificates and none of them were interviewed at the time of recruitment. The committee said, “Each of the employees had been recruited verbally on a monthly salary of Rs 3000 and none of them was made to undergo the mandatory process of police verification. By doing this the university had violated the Employment Act.”

The report further said that though advertisements were inserted in newspapers for recruitment of some regular employees, “but no serious effort was made to actually fill the vacant posts and, hence, it was a serious matter to hand over the university in the hands of such people.”

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