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Posted at: Jan 14, 2018, 2:14 AM; last updated: Jan 14, 2018, 2:16 AM (IST)

PU braces for stormy Senate meet on Jan 21

Re-employment of principals beyond 60 yrs, validity of degrees by Meghalaya varsity on agenda

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 13

The Senate meeting on January 21 is expected to be a stormy affair as agenda this time comprises all contentious issues ranging from discussion on re-employment of principals beyond 60 years and composition of inspection committees of colleges to validity of degrees issued by CMJ University of Meghalaya.

The Ashok Goyal group in the last Senate meeting had called for discussion on these issues, following which January 21 meeting was fixed for matters related to colleges.

Re-employment of principals

The Senate would discuss the re-employment of principals of affiliated colleges beyond 60 years till they attain the age of 65. The varsity has also attached a list of 15 principals who have been benefited from it.

There was a proposal from Syndicate members that instead of allowing re-employment of outgoing principals beyond 60 years, first by giving extension of two years, then again two years and then one year, the extension should be given for three years in first go and then after re-advertisement of the post and in case of not finding any suitable candidate, the outgoing principal could be allowed extension of two years. It was passed by the Syndicate on April 30, 2017. Now, the Senate has to take a call on it.

Earlier, both the Chancellor’s office and Registrar Education, Colleges of Chandigarh Administration, had sought varsity’s comments on the issue after the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union and the DAV College Retired Teachers’ Association complained about it.

The General Secretary of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union, Dr Vinay Sofat, had complained to the Vice-President, M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also tge Chancellor of the PU, that the varsity’s policy on re-employment of principals was violation of UGC rules. He had pointed out that as per the UGC regulations, the position of the principal tenure post is of five years, extendable by another five years through a due process. The Punjab Government has made it 10 years. “Therefore, the letter and spirit of the UGC regulations is that a principal must leave office after 10 years. However, powerful lobby in the PU Syndicate and Senate had deliberately recommended the re-employment of principals even after their retirement at the age of 60 years. Many of the syndics are themselves beneficiaries,” he had said.

The DAV College Retired Teachers’ Association alleged “anarchy in administration” of the varsity and pointed out that different yardstick was applied in service rules for extension or re-employment of the principals of the colleges affiliated to the PU whereas no such benefit was there for college teachers.

Validity of degrees of CMJ University

The Meghalaya Government issued show-cause notices to CMJ University in November, 2013, and January, 2014 on mismanagement, maladministration, indiscipline and failure in the accomplishments of the objectives. The state government without compliance of provisions under the CMJ University Act, 2008, issued order dated March 31, 2014, for dissolution.

CMJ University challenged the dissolution before the Meghalaya High Court which set aside the show-cause notices and dissolution in 2015.

The state government filed SLP before the apex court in 2016 but later withdrew it.

In an official note prepared by Dean Law Anu Chatrath and chairperson of the Department of Law Shalini Marwaha on February 2017, it was stated that in the list of self-styled, fake universities displayed by the UGC, the name of CMJ University does not figure.

The issue on the Senate agenda for January 21 is now of the validity of degrees issued by CMJ University.

In the Syndicate meeting on December 10, 2017, the CMJ University issue was discussed and it was decided that the College Branch of the PU would check whether the name of CMJ University existed in the list of approved varsities or not. Also, it was decided that “The degrees of the students, who have applied for any job or applied/admitted in any course in the university and its affiliated colleges, issued by the CMJ University, Shillong, Meghalaya, be got verified by writing to the said university.”

CMJ University exists on the list of approved varsities on the UGC website and the varsity’s legal cell has also started issuing clarifications that all degrees issued by it are valid.

But Senator Ashok Goyal, who leads opposition in the Senate, said, “The issue for us is about the validity of degrees. The SC had in 2013 directed that the students who had taken degrees from CMJ University should represent before the state government about the validity. But despite that degrees were declared invalid by the state government, the PU favoured people. There is no order of the state government on record that degrees are valid.”

Inspection committees of colleges

As allegations were raised in the last Senate meeting over transparency in composition of inspection committees of colleges, the PU has this time attached a list of inspection committees from 2013 to 2017.

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