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     PEC finds fault with UGC report

Chandigarh, April 5th 2007, Tribune News Service

It seems, Punjab Engineering College (PEC), deemed university, and the University Grants Commission (UGC) are on the warpath.

Almost a month after a team of the University Grants Commission (UGC) submitted a report indicting PEC director Vijay Gupta of irregularities in selections, PEC has termed the UGC report as “shoddy”, “biased”, “unfair” and “conducted with a pre-conceived notion to give an adverse report against the institute.”

PEC board of governors chairman Chandra Mohan has forwarded to the UT Home Secretary a voluminous reply by the PEC director to the UGC report, attacking the manner in which the inquiry was conducted as well as its findings.

“The committee worked most unconstitutionally. It threw the principles of natural justice to the winds while conducting its business and making adverse and malicious recommendations against persons without hearing them,” states the reply.

The UGC committee had observed that PEC followed a flexible cadre promotion scheme (FCPS) to promote faculty, which “left a lot of room for too high a level of discretion in promotions in the hands of the director”.

The reply ironically points out that no promotions under the scheme have yet been made by PEC and the system is yet to be adopted by the college.

The inquiry report alleged that two assistant professors promoted as professors under the career advancement scheme (CAS) did not meet the mandatory requirement of eight years in service in the cadre of assistant professor.

“The (UGC inquiry) committee mentioned it met eight teachers who had not been promoted when actually there are only six who could not be promoted...There is no deputy registrar in PEC. How the committee met him, as mentioned in the report is not clear.”

Justifying the action, the reply states that the two assistant professors were “considered and assessed” by the selection committee before they completed eight years of service, but promoted only when they had completed their term.

The director said that five of the six assistant professors who had not been promoted were “habitual non-performers.” They had been rejected several times in the past by other bodies as well. One of the assistant professors has been “rejected” 17 times and another 14 times.

The Director further said the UGC team had misconstrued a case of pay protection as a case of someone having been given 14 increments. “The committee… has spoken nothing but the language of the complainants without caring to verify the facts on record and to apply its mind. As such the observation of the committee is a sad commentary on its approach and working if not on its capacity for comprehension.”

The PEC head noted that the inquiry committee had allowed itself to be misled by the complainants, two of whom did not even inform the committee that they had also approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court with the same complaints and their cases were pending in the court.

The findings of the report in these two cases “amounts to undue interference in the proceedings before the court. It appears to be an unfair effort on their part to influence the court,” states the reply.

Rebutting allegations that Punjab Engineering College (PEC) did not follow the reservation policy while selecting faculty, PEC Director Vijay Gupta has in his in reply to the Chandigarh Administration that all selections were strictly within the reservation quota fixed by the director of social welfare for various categories.

The UGC team had in a report filed to the Chandigarh administration a month ago alleged that PEC had appointed 10 lecturers in excess from the general category in the current round of selections, even though seven lecturers belonging to the general category were already in more than the stipulated quota.

The UGC team had recommended the cancellation of all appointments by PEC in the last round of selections.

Describing the observations by the UGC committee in this regard as “hopelessly off the mark” the director has said no post in excess of the quota fixed by the head of social welfare for respective categories has been filled in the current round of recruitment. In fact, the shortfall in the quota from previous years had been made good by the institution in the recent selections.

The UGC committee’s findings, maintained the PEC head, were “so completely untrue as to raise serious questions about the committee’s ability to understand the implementation of the reservation policy.”

An indication of the committee’s “scant understanding of the concept of reservation and rosters,” said the director, was its presumption that PEC was following a 100 point roster system. The point-roster system, he said, had ceased to exist following orders of the Government of India 10 years ago.

PEC was now maintaining a post-based roster system and not the vacancy-based reservation roster, in vogue before 1997. The director stated that the former system stood approved by the social welfare chief.

Admitting that the PEC had not selected any OBC faculty member, the director said this was not because of any bias, but because no candidate of this category was found suitable for the post.

While the benchmark for the general category candidates was 65 per cent in ME and 65 per cent in BE, for the OBC candidates it had been lowered to 60 per cent.

On the charge that the details of reservation had not been given in advertisements issued by PEC, the director said the institute was following the IIT pattern of advertisements wherein such details were not given.

 | Original Source of News

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