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Governance reforms: Uproar over V­C’s affidavit in high court

April 22, 2018 05:37 AM


Arshdeep Arshi
Governance reforms: Uproar over V­C’s affidavit in high courtPU SYNDICATE MEET Members ask Grover to withdraw affidavit, but he sticks to his stand; meet ends in 20 minutes
CHANDIGARH :The Panjab University syndicate meeting that lasted only 20 minutes on Saturday witnessed an uproar over the vicechancellor’s affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana high court suggesting governance reforms.

The members objected to vicechancellor (V-C) Arun K Grover’s submission in court, questioning his right to do so without bringing up the matter before the syndicate, the varsity’s executive body.

Grover in the affidavit submitted on April 17 sought reforms in PU governance, raising the issue of groupism in the senate — varsity’s apex governing body. The affidavit states that factionalism has reached such a level that discussions in the senate do not happen on merit anymore. It also puts a question mark on elections for deans of faculties and graduate constituency of the senate.

Even as the syndicate demanded withdrawal of the affidavit, Grover stood his ground. Even senators Ronki Ram and Navdeep Goyal, considered close to the V-C signed the resolution seeking withdrawal.


Syndicate member Prabhjit Singh was the one to raise the matter when the meeting began on Saturday. He said he came to know about the affidavit through newspapers and its content disturbed him.

Taking names of senators such as Ronki Ram, BS Ghuman and Late GK Chatrath, who have remained deans, Singh questioned the V-C if he thought they got elected due to groupism.

Grover told the members that the affidavit was filed in his personal

capacity, which raised further objections as to why it was then submitted on behalf of the university.

The members even objected to Grover’s statement about factionalism in the PU senate. They said though there might be groups in the governing body, the V-C should not have maligned the institution.

On Grover’s failure to bring up the affidavit before the syndicate in advance, one of the members did defend him, stating that he had the right to do so as he was just replying to the high court’s query.


Later, Grover walked out of the hall over the use of “unparliamentary language” by one of the syndicate members. The member had questioned the V-C over allegedly not allowing syndics to have tea with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to the campus for a memorial lecture earlier this month.

The meeting continued for some time under syndic Gurjot Singh Malhi till the V-C returned and adjourned it. The leftover agenda items will be taken up during the next sitting of syndicate on April 29. The syndicate was to discuss revision in fee structure, room rent in PU Guest House and rent of auditoriums, seminar halls and lawns on the campus among other important issues. However, no discussion took place.

After the meeting was adjourned, Grover sent a message to syndicate members, stating that he will not withdraw the affidavit but inform the court that he submitted it in his personal capacity.

“I have been going to court hearings since October 20, 2016, and I have been saying the same things I said that day. It is my personal comprehension of the matter. I will not withdraw the affidavit but will inform the court that it is in my personal capacity,” he said.

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