Tuesday, July 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Probe indicts Punjabi varsity Dean
Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 1
A controversy in Punjabi University has arisen with the submission of a report by a former bureaucrat who acted as inquiry officer during the tenure of ousted Vice- Chancellor Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia indicting Dean, Academics, Dr U.C. Singh saying that he was not eligible for appointment as Professor and that the appointment be cancelled.

The report, submitted by former Special Secretary, Education, Dr Amarjit Singh, inquiry for which was ordered by the former VC at the fag end of his tenure when Dr U.C. Singh was leading an agitation for his (VC’s) ouster as Convener of the Joint Action Committee (JAC).

Observers said the inquiry was ordered by the former VC into a case which was nearly 10-year- old with mala fide intention for the role being played by Dr U.C. Singh in the university. They said disregarding it might also prove difficult for the new administration led by Acting VC Dr N.S. Rattan.

The report which holds Dr U.C. Singh guilty of not complying with the university order stipulating that he was to complete his PhD within one year when he was promoted Professor in 1993. According to the report repeated reminders were sent to Dr Singh subsequently requesting that he submit his Ph.D work but he did not pay heed.

The report also claims that no concession in time frame had been given to Dr U.C. Singh subsequently . He said no administrative decision could have been taken on confirming his appointment without submission of the work and conduct report, adding even the varsity Syndicate could not have given any relaxation to the candidate without the submission of the thesis. Holding this view, Mr Amarjit Singh said the confirmation of Dr U.C. Singh as Professor was not correct and also recommended that the promotion be cancelled with effect from 1993 itself.

The report has also indicted Dr Singh on the question of sabbatical leave availed by him to complete his work in late 1993. According to the inquiry officer Dr Singh informed the university that he needed more time to complete his report during the leave period itself and that the time was given to him. The inquiry officer has held that it was “impossible” for Dr Singh to give a report of the old work done by him earlier after such a long time and held him to have been “negligent” and also having conducted “indiscipline”. The report has also recommended that the sabbatical leave be cancelled.

Meanwhile, Dr U.C. Singh when contacted said: “The report has been written by Ahluwalia”.

He claimed that he had not seen the report adding the inquiry officer contacted him for his explanation 56 days after he started inquiry into the case in which he had been given a time frame of three months. “Despite this I gave an interim reply and also asked for more details which were however not supplied to me”, he added.

The Dean, Academics said the earlier stipulation had been also made specially in his case because he had earlier been president of the Punjabi University Teachers Association (PUTA) and the varsity authorities were inimical to him. He said the stipulation had been made even though the University Grants Commission (UGC) clearly stipulated that Readers having 12 years of experience could be promoted even if they had not completed Ph.D. He said even this decision was reversed by the varsity Syndicate in 1991 and that he had informed the Inquiry Officer that the inquiry was infructuous in this light. He said as regarding the sabbatical leave, he had extended it but that a later committee consisting of the then Dean, Academics, another teacher and an outside observer had held the report submitted by him to be satisfactory.

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