In yet another round of confrontation between the Bhagwant Mann-led government and Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the former has decided to stick with the appointment of Dr Satbir Singh Gosal as Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) despite objection.
Targeting Purohit over his letter seeking the removal of Dr Gosal, Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said the government was well within its right to appoint the Vice-chancellor post.
“It seems the Governor is unaware or has not been informed that the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor at the PAU is done in accordance with the Haryana and Punjab Agricultural Universities Act, 1970. It’s not done according to the norms of the University Grants Commission. As there is no irregularity in his appointment, the VC will not be removed,” he said.
Yesterday, the Governor sent a letter to Chief Minister Mann, asking him to remove the Vice-Chancellor “as he was appointed illegally and the charge be handed over to the Administrative Secretary of the Agriculture Department”.
The Governor, the ex-officio chancellor of the universities of state-run universities, had also asked Mann to get in touch with the department concerned to appoint the Vice-chancellor in consultation with him.
Taking a defiant stand, the Chief Minister is expected to send a reply to the Governor soon detailing the government’s contrarian view on the issue, sources said.
Dhaliwal argued the appointment of the Vice Chancellor was never done in consultation with the Chancellor in the past, but his selection was done by the Board of Directors of the PAU. “We are firm on our stand. No going back. We have asked Dr Gosal to start working on heat-resistant crop varieties as we move towards sustainable agriculture. He is the best choice for this post. He can make an immense contribution to ushering in another agricultural revolution,” said the minister.
With inputs from News18