Saturday, May 26, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Academic Council okays controversial decision
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
The two-year-long controversy over the change of designation of Dr S.K. Singla, Professor of Statistics, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), took a decisive turn when the Academic Council of PAU at a meeting held today approved to change his designation amidst allegation of favouritism levelled against the university authorities.

Although the proceedings of the meetings were not recorded today, sources disclosed that the change in designation was approved in the meeting. The decision is likely to further flare up tempers in the university as the change of designation implies that Dr Singla is eligible for the direct appointment as the Head of the Department of Business Management as he will become the only professor in the department.

The vacancy of the Head of Department was created after the retirement of Dr O.P. Sahni from the department on March 31. He was replaced by Dr M.A. Zaheer, Dean, College of Management, as the officiating head. Dr Singla was a Professor in the Department of Statistics and was transferred to this department to teach students of management and it was said that his seniority would be retained in his parent department.

The issue of the change of designation was being discussed in the university for a long time. The Academic Council of the PAU had rejected the move earlier in its two meetings held on January 18 and February 28. Later, the then Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, had constituted a committee which had recommended the change in qualifications for the post of Professor of Business Management.

In the next meeting of the Academic Council held under the chairmanship of the new Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, the qualifications required for the post of Professor in Business Management were changed. It was recommended that the candidates with post graduate degree in commerce, economics, statistics and related subjects were eligible for the post of Professor and Assistant Professor. This had cleared the way for Dr Singla to become a Professor in the new department.

However, other teachers of the department resented this decision. They alleged that the qualifications were tailored to benefit a person who was close to the authorities and was an office-bearer of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Union.

The issue was hanging fire since November 1999 when Dr Singla was transferred to the Department of Business Management after the department had felt shortage of staff after the retirement of a senior professor. The move was, however, opposed by the faculty members of the department who argued that Dr Singla did not hold a degree in business management and was only a diploma holder. So he could not teach postgraduate students as per the university rules.

To add to the resentment of the teachers the then HoD, Dr Sahni had moved a case to Dean College of Basic Sciences and Humanities to change the designation of Dr Singla from Professor of statistics to Professor of Business Management. He had proposed to change his designation vide his note (dated 17.11.2000). The case was further sent to the then Vice Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat for approval but he decided to take it to the Academic Council of the university.

The then HoD, Dr Sahni had written to the Dean that Dr Singla was transferred to this department only after the need for a Professor with qualifications in quantitative subjects had arisen. He had said Dr Singla had a long experience of teaching not only quantitative methods but also different courses in management. He had also worked as Associate Professor in the department for a considerable time. The HoD had also written that Dr Singla was selected by Indira Gandhi National Open University as Reader of Management in Management School.


Stop use of tobacco: VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 25
Academicians of the city have started vowing to start a crusade against the tobacco menace. Coming forward among others is Dr K. S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, who has appealed to the masses to shun tobacco and fight against the abuse.

Issuing an appeal on the first day of “No Tobacco Week” which starts from today the VC has appealed the faculty, staff, students and the general public to stop use of tobacco in any form. Stating that the tobacco is responsible for more than 30 major diseases in the world and causes 40 lakh deaths every year and 11,000 deaths every day. 


Summer Queen contest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 25
An inter-club Summer Queen contest was organised by Venus Ladies Club at Malhotra Mahal, Dugri, today. Participants from over eight ladies clubs took part in the contest.

The members from AarCee, Roopika, Gayatri, Geetanjli, Niharika, Sarabha, Ramgarhia, Oorja, Venus and Lakshmi ladies clubs walked on the ramp with great confidence.

The contest was judged by Ms Poonam Bindra and Ms Suvidha. Ms Pretty from Ramgarhia Ladies Club was declared ‘Summer Queen’, while first runner up was Ms Priya Kapoor from Venus club and second runner up was Jyotsna from Sarabha Ladies Club.

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