THE VICE CHANCELLOR’S refusal to stand down over the affidavit on governance reforms is once again likely to affect the Syndicate meeting of Panjab University on Saturday.
The registrar submitted an application before the Punjab and Haryana High Court as directed by the Senate to withdraw the controversial affidavit on May 15. Taking the application and the V-C’s affidavit on record, the High Court adjourned the hearing till July which is also the month when V-C Arun Kumar Grover retires from his post. The court has sought a response from the Centre and the Punjab government on the matter.
Grover has reportedly said that he would be present for the next hearing in July and also continue to attend subsequent hearings in his personal capacity even after retirement.
Besides the affidavit, at least 45 items will come up for discussion at the meeting. Among them is recommendation by a committee that in cases under the Sexual Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, a two-thirds majority should be replaced with a simple majority of those present. A vote should decide the major penalty if found guilty and the panel has suggested that PU recommend modifications of the PU calendar to the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
On April 1, the Senate failed to get a two-thirds majority in deciding the quantum of punishment for Prof Komal Singh of the Department of Public Administration who has been charged with sexual harassment on two counts.
Also on the agenda is the 5 per cent fee hike for foreign nationals, persons of Indian origin and NRIs. However, in this bracket, the hike would be the same for new admissions and existing students as well. A committee, formed by the V-C, finalised the fee structure for foreign students on April 9.
On May 6, the Senate approved of an overall 10 per cent fee hike for new admissions to traditional and self-financing courses in 2018-19 and stuck to a 5 per cent increase for ongoing students.
Suggested by Prof Grover during the agitation against the fee hike in April 2017, the ‘earn while you learn’ scheme will also be discussed at the meeting. A committee has identified part-time jobs for students such as library assistants at AC Joshi Library and technical operators at the Internal Quality Assurance Cell. Students will be paid Rs 100 per hour and each student will be allowed to work for a maximum of 40 hours a month.
The decision to grant a special chance to undergraduate and postgraduate students of sciences and University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) to clear their re-appear backlog in June and July will also be discussed.
In April, the varsity had approved of a student representation to grant “special chance” to BSc and MSc (Honours) students to clear their remaining re-appear papers in June and July. In a circular dated April 26, the office of the Controller of Examinations (CoE) approved the request made by the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council (PUCSC) on February 1.
Students of these courses who have to re-appear for papers in both odd and even semesters, will get a chance to clear their backlog once and for all on June 15 and July 15.
A similar request was also made for the UIET students.