As the Congress stormed into power after 10 years of SAD-BJP rule in Punjab, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) faculty has intensified protest against the vice-chancellor said to be “close to Badals”. The faculty on Friday alleged that V-C Dr B S Dhillon has been misbehaving with them and using inappropriate language. After several protests, the salaries of faculty and university employees for February were released two days ago. They said the protest was primarily against the autocratic attitude of the V-C towards the teachers of the university. K S Sangha, president, PAU Teachers’ Association, said: “The teachers are diligently working for the betterment of the university, but are being humiliated in meetings and workshops on a daily basis. Several faculty members have been approaching the association with complaints of misbehavior and humiliation by the V-C. If he fails to respond to our complaints, we will be forced to file a complaint with the board of management.”
Dhillon, who joined PAU in 2011, was granted four-year extension in June 2015 despite some board of members objecting to it. Primarily having an expertise in maize research, he is considered to be close to the Badal family. In 2016, the Congress, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, slammed the V-C after the varsity parted away with 175 acres of prime land meant for agricultural research for construction of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bathinda, the parliamentary constituency of Harsimrat Kaur Badal. Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore is the chancellor of the university. The board of members also include Punjab chief secretary and director agriculture.
The teachers said the protest would now continue till there was a response from the V-C himself or the new government, led by CM Captain Amarinder Singh, took note of the matter. “He is even humiliating the female faculty on a daily basis. We are treated as if we do not have any knowledge about our own subjects. A second opinion is not tolerated in meetings and we are snubbed. Teachers have started speaking against this now after six years of constant problems. Even the maternity leave to female faculty is not given without hurdles,” said Sangha.
The vice-chancellors of Punjabi University Patiala and GNDU Amritsar recently resigned after the Congress came to power.