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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 2:13 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 2:24 PM (IST)

Minister’s transparency attempt goes for a toss

Minister’s transparency attempt goes for a toss
Minister Channi tosses the coin.

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 13

A toss of coin, a twist of the tale, and Punjab Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was the subject of a controversy in a video gone viral on Tuesday.

A harmless exercise of picking one of two newly hired lecturers vying to be posted at Government Polytechnic, Patiala, through toss to avoid allegations of favouritism was recorded on video by a TV journalist, who was among several present in Channi’s office on Monday.

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By Tuesday morning, various versions of the incident were out on national TV channels, including some saying “appointments” were being done through the toss of a coin without going into merit.

According to the minister, in the interest of transparency in transfers, he had called 37 lecturers — recently recruited through the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) — to allot them stations of their choice. While he was able to decide postings of 35 candidates in this manner on the spot, two candidates had a dispute as both wanted Patiala.

In the presence of department officials, the candidates — one of who had more experience and the other had higher qualification — were asked to settle the matter between them. The other posting available was Bareta in Mansa.

The minister said the two could not reach an agreement, and they requested him to decide by toss, which he did. “Being a minister, I am competent to decide the place of posting of Group A appointees. To avoid any controversy as in the past over bribes being taken for stations of choice, I invited candidates to make their requests publicly and get postings on the spot,” Channi said, adding that no rule had been violated.

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