Punjab government to restart PTU VC selection process after finalizing job name

The government of Punjab has decided to relaunch the process of selecting the Vice-Chancellor of Inder Kumar Gujral-Punjab Technical University (IKG-PTU), Kapurthala, after nearly finalizing the name of Professor Siby John when Amarinder Singh was minister in chief.

The government will re-advertise the post, officials familiar with the matter said.

The name of John of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, who previously served in the IKG-PTU, was considered almost final for the post when the dossier recommending the name of the candidate of choice was sent to the governor of Punjab for final approval on August 25, we learn.

Previously, the university’s board sent a panel of three names, including VK Paul from the National Institute of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and Onkar Singh from Lucknow Technical University, in addition to John to the state government.

But the process was called off at the eleventh hour after some contenders raised questions about the selection, citing favoritism. Some had even approached the then minister of technical education, Charanjit Channi (now chief minister), claiming that the Punjab candidates were being completely ignored.

It was also reported at the time that Channi had no say in the selection process for the position of VC.

State Technical Education Minister Rana Gurjit Singh said the VC nomination dossier is back with the government. “We are going to start the selection process again,” he said.

Sixteen names out of a total of 67 candidates who had applied for the post of VC were shortlisted to appear before the small panel chaired by the Chief Secretary.

The post of PTU VC became vacant on May 31 when Ajay Kumar’s term ended. Currently, the Principal Secretary (Technical Education) is responsible for the VC.

Ad hocism has taken hold of the higher technical institutes of the Punjab with three out of four universities run by the state government operating without a regular VC. The two recently upgraded technical universities – Shaheed Bhagat Singh Technical University, Ferozepur, and Sardar Beant Singh Technical University, Gurdaspur – do not have regular VCs.

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