Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal has urged Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is also Chancellor of Panjab University, to direct its Vice Chancellor to hold immediate elections to its senate, the highest governing body.
The four-year term of Panjab University’s senate got over on October 31 and its elections have been postponed due to the pandemic.
Mr. Badal said the senate elections were being put off in the name of COVID-19 for two months after they became due on August 15. “The elections had been put off indefinitely even as other elections, including those to the Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA), were held recently. This has lent credence to apprehensions that the University administration wants to scrap the senate and appoint a nominated Board of Governors. While such a move may suit the authorities, it will harm the larger interests of Punjab,” he said.
He said a nominated body will no longer be accountable to the people of the region. “It would also not be obliged to further the cause of Punjab and Punjabi studies in the University which elected senate members have fiercely safeguarded and strengthened,” he added.
The SAD president also wrote that the university was suffering due to lack of governance with the senate and syndicate not meeting to discuss important issues. “Even the admission schedule was delayed, Colleges were not provided with proper guidelines and teachers suffered after being forcibly relieved. The revival of democratic institutions in the varsity will help to check this downslide,” he said.