VC’s post devalued

I READ S.S. Johl’s article “Another VC forced to quit” (Sunday Oped, Dec 2). Unfortunately, the present-day Vice Chancellors totally lack moral courage. Mr Hardwari Lal, former VC of MD University, Rohtak, fought against the unceremonious removal up to the Supreme Court and ultimately won the case.

VCs, like all other public servants, should come through an open and transparent process of selection. If the Chiefs of our armed forces can come through a selection, what is so lofty about the VC that he should be “searched” with a defunct torch? In fact, the search committee is a misnomer. It is a colonial hang-up. A whole paradigm shift is needed including the thought as who should head a university/institution in the interest of students, teachers and higher education.

Once “searched”, the politicians resort to all that they can do. It is time the governments at the Centre and in the states selected VCs through an open advertisement in the newspapers. The Right to Information and the Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution also demand it.

CHHAVI, Chandigarh



Dr Johl’s views represent only one version of the issue. VCs are also answerable to society for their demeanour and deportment. Running or developing a university by making foreign trips with a begging bowl or benefiting those who brought or helped bring money for the university should not be the sole criteria for judging the administrative acumen of the head of an institute of universal learning.

Placing a professor in charge of every important section has also been unprecedented in the history of a university. By putting in their resignations, these gentlemen have proved their allegiance to a man and not to the institution or the profession they serve. Their exit is a blessing in disguise for a person who goes scot-free for all his acts of omission or commission.



The law is clear about the VC’s appointment and removal. The state government shall constitute a select committee consisting of one nominee of the Chancellor and two nominees of the executive which shall prepare a penal of at least three names in alphabetical order, from which the Chancellor shall appoint the VC on the state government’s advice. The Chancellor shall determine the terms and conditions on the government’s advice.

VCs like other public servants should come through an open and transparent selection. If the Chief of the Army Staff can come through a selection, what is so lofty about the VC that (s)he should be searched which finally throws person of a particular caste? Why not attract the best talent and experience through advertisement?

Dr S. P. GUPTA, Rohtak


Dr Johl highlighted the perils of politicisation of Punjab’s universities. The present government is not providing adequate funds, but is nominating even non-degree holders to the governing bodies to serve its political purposes.

The school education has already been ruined. The higher education will follow suit. No wonder, Punjab is sliding on all parameters of development.n


Good governance

I read Dr S.S. Johl’s article, “Statesman in need: Good governance has no substitute” (Perspective, Nov 25). It would have been much better if the Punjab government has a plan to ameliorate poverty among the disadvantaged sections rather than throwing sops to some sections in the countryside.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal tried to prove that he has a special love for rural persons, but he the Chief Minister of the whole state of Punjab, and not of some villages.


Where corruption is a way of life

Venkatesh Nayak’s article, “Taking shelter under RTI: Transparency makes slow but sure progress” (Perspective, Dec 2) is timely. Corruption today is a way of life in India as was slavery in the West during the first two centuries A.D. When slaves, though in majority, were purchased, reared and sold for every purpose even for gladiatorial combats.

In India today, favours are sold by those in authority and the functionaries amass wealth at the cost of aam admi without any qualm. Public amenities that any authority provides for are the main sources of corruption. They are all sub-standard and every functionary has his good share in the embezzlement of funds that result in bad execution or remain on paper only as has been noticed in the Indira Awaas Yojna in Assam.

If any case of corruption is taken up, it fails for want of evidence or because of the witness turning hostile. There are some cases requiring no further evidence, but the authorities ignore them. One such case is of the provision of brick-on-edge paving in the streets of towns and villages executed with crores of rupees before the last Assembly elections in Punjab.

The specification of the Brick-on-Edge Paving according to the Punjab PWD specifications, is 2 inch thick mud mortar/brick ballast layer on the leveled, cambered, thoroughly watered and rammed surface, then laying bricks-on-edge and sand spreading on the top broomed to fill the joints. While execution of other items is substandard, mud mortor/brick ballast layer and sand spreading are altogether missing at all places and thus more than one-third of expenses was embezzled.

I brought this to the attention of the Punjab Governor, Chief Secretary, Chief Engineer, PWD (B&R), Director, Local Government, DGP, DC, Ferozepore, and members of all the main political parties, but in vain. Any authority may please check St. No. 1, Model Town, Abohar, to fix accountability on all those involved in this scam.




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