Patiala, May 13
Apprehending lapses in stocks of published books and their receipts, Punjabi University, Patiala, has started stock verification and comprehensive checking of books at the university publication bureau’s storeroom. Officials said the verification process had been started a year after it was sought by the department head.
The verification process includes checking of all stock of the publication bureau, the number of published books and their copies present, sold and used in various ways from the bureau. “The publication bureau head— Prof Rajesh Sharma had sought the verification in July last year. But due to lack of staff at the bureau office it remained pending for a year. Now the university decided to carry out the process after the formation of a committee”, an insider said.
Officials said the university formed a three-member committee comprising faculty members that finally decided to carry out the verification work. They said, “Allegations of lapses in stocks include discrepancies in publication of books vis-a-vis their receipts.”
Dr Rajesh Sharma said he had sought the stock verification report after taking charge of the department last year. “But it was pending and has been started now. We had also asked for random checking of a number of books of the bureau but that has also not been submitted. The checking of overall stock is supposed to be carried out from time to time,” he said.
University Vice-Chancellor Prof Arvind said, “Apparently, the stocks of books had not been verified for long. So, we formed a committee for the purpose of starting the work.”
Research scholars asked to chip in
A number of research scholars of various departments were directed to render their services at the bureau during the verification process. Some of them alleged, “We are research scholars and not university staff. But instead of the staff, we were tasked with lifting, shifting and counting the books. There is humidity inside and some areas are even termite ridden.”
Prof Rajesh Sharma said the students had complained to him about the same. “It was wrong how the research scholars were made to lift books and transport. I have informed the university higher-ups about the same,” he said.
University VC Prof Arvind said, “The students were only supposed to count the books. But they did some lifting work as well. The matter reached us. We have appointed enough staff to carry out the work now.”
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