On January 22 the Delhi High Court directed Punjab
Technical University (PTU) not to hold admissions to its
distance education programme till it got approval from
the Distance Education Council.
The High Court took note of an advertisement published
by the PTU on December 3, inviting applications from
students for admissions.
university move came despite specific directions by the
Council on October 12 last that no student should be
admitted under the programme.
The orders have come in the wake of a PIL filed by a
Delhi resident. The court observed: "The PTU was granted
approval by the Council for the period from 2007
onwards. It appears that for the current academic year,
the approval has not been extended and the request is
pending before the council. We direct the PTU not to
admit any student pursuant to the
advertisement made on December 3, 2012, without a
specific approval from Distance Education Council."
Reacting to the matter, a PTU spokesman, Rajneesh
Sharma, said, "We have not received a copy of the court
order as yet."
PTU, it may be recalled, had
been blatantly continuing with its money-spinner
distance education programme beyond the territorial
jurisdiction of the university despite objections by the
University Grants Commission and the Distance Education
The UGC has been telling the university time and again
to cancel its
affiliation to study centres outside the state.
The UGC order had come following directions from the
Supreme Court. Haryana has already shut down more than
11,000 study centres of Maharshi Dayanand University,
the state. It has also barred all the state and private
universities from operating beyond its territorial
The UGC, in its circular, had pointed out financial and
academic exploitation by distance education centres
operating beyond the state boundaries.
PTU centres can be traced to a number of places in
Delhi, Patna, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Manipal etc.
It has approximately 2,000 centres outside Punjab. For
Manipal, an advanced group in management and technology
(LC code 751 and 2583) and IAIT Institute, Delhi, offer
several PTU courses.
Kolkata has a number of centres offering MSc courses in
hardware and networking, paramedical care, animation,
film-making and interior designing. The university,
meanwhile, is going
ahead with new recruitment for regional centres to
“explore and create new markets”.
Registrar HS Bains : “The matter pertaining to study centres outside Punjab was pending with the legal
affairs wing.” Rajnish Sharma, Public Relation Officer,
said: “We are looking into
the implementation aspect of the orders. It involves the
future of over 1 lakh students and no decision can be
taken abruptly. We are preparing the case to argue in
the court, if needed.
Most importantly, an academic decision cannot be
Punjab Chief Secy hogs PTU board chairmanship
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra(Courtesy
: Hindustan Times, Chandigarh)
JALLANDHAR : In violation of the Punjab Technical
University (PTU) Act, the university’s board of
governors (BoG) has been holding its meetings under the
chairmanship of Punjab Chief Secretary, who is
ineligible to hold the post, thus, putting to ‘risk’ the
legal validity of the decisions being undertaken.
The BoG, under the CS chairmanship, is scheduled to hold
another meeting at Chandigarh on June 29. This despite
the fact that the state government had finally started
the search process for an “eligible” person for the post
in May-end, after the CS’s appointment was challenged in
the high court in November 2011. The HC had also stayed
new appointments in the university.
The then chief secretary SC Agrawal presided over a BoG
meeting on December 21, 2011. Similarly, Rakesh Singh,
a 1978 batch IAS officer, who was appointed the CS after formation of SAD-BJP
government in March, conducted another meeting on April
16 to take several important decisions, including the
appointment of consultants at very high remunerations.
Meanwhile, the department of technical education, in its
May 30 communiqué to the VC, has said the PTU Act
mandated that the chairman must be appointed by the
Chancellor out of a panel of persons of national
eminence from industry, technology or technical
education for a term of three years on the
recommendations of the outgoing chairman.
The department asked the PTU to advertise for the
chairman’s post and forward the applications to newly
constituted search committee headed by the CS. The
committee recommendations were to be approved by the
minister concerned and the chief minister. Subsequently,
the list would be submitted to the chancellor. The
university is yet to release such advertisement.
After the previous BoG’s term expired on June 6, 2011,
the chancellor constituted a new board on September 29,
2011. The CS was appointed as the board chairman, in
blatant violation of the PTU Act. Jalandhar-based
Anti-Corruption Society challenged the formation of the
BoG, also seeking the quashing of appointment of Agrawal
and the subsequent decisions by the board, including the
extension to VC Dr Rajneesh Arora.
“The chief secretary’s appointment not only strikes at
the autonomous character of the university, but has been
done to appoint the ruling combine government’s man as
the vice-chancellor, so that their whip can continue to
run even if the government changes,” said JK Anand,
president, Anti-Corruption Society. “It is beyond the
principles of natural of justice to have the outgoing
chairman recommend himself for fresh incumbency,” he
added. “The state government had submitted in the HC
that a new chairman is being appointed, as per law very
shortly,” Anand told HT.
VC Arora said that the CS was still the BoG chairman as
per the government notification. “The June 29 meet is
being convened on court orders,” he said.