PROFESSOR RAJ Kumar took charge as the new Vice Chancellor of Panjab University on Monday amid protests from the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) against his appointment.
Kumar, in his first interaction with the media, said he would make concerted effort to take the values of Panjab University forward and continue to work on the government policies for the betterment of the varsity. “Panjab University is a great institution. We all will put our efforts for further upgradation of the university,” Kumar told Chandigarh Newsline.
The new V-C, a Doctor of Letters degree holder, has 35 years’ experience of teaching and research in insurance, capital market and entrepreneurship. He was appointed Vice Chancellor on Saturday by the Vice-President of India, who is also the Chancellor of PU, following the retirement of Professor Arun Kumar Grover, who had been V-C for six years.
The new Vice Chancellor’s first day in office was marred by student protests with NSUI continuing its protest against his appointment. The students’ body, which alleged that a BJP and RSS-affiliated person had been appointed Vice Chancellor, called Kumar a “Sanghi V-C” and shouted slogans against him.
Chandigarh Police prevented the protesting students from moving towards the V-C’s office. Some students were even detained but released after being put in the police van for a while during which sloganeering continued.
“Our demand is simple. That is the procedure adopted for the appointment of Vice Chancellor should be made public. His name was not among the 10 shortlisted candidates chosen by the Selection Committee. A Sanghi VC has been appointed Vice Chancellor of the university,” said NSUI Chandigarh President Gurjot Singh Sandhu.
The Vice Chancellor was introduced to various faculty members, too. PU Dean of University Instruction, Professor Shankarji Jha, Registrar, Col (Retd) G S Chadha, Controller of Examination, Prof Parvinder Singh, members of the Syndicate and Senate, deans, all senior officials, faculty, wardens and staff members were all there to welcome Kumar on his first day.
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