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Appointment of IAS Rishi Pal Singh as registrar in Punjab Agricultural University creates uproar among teacher’s body

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The appointment of Rishi Pal Singh, a 2014 batch IAS officer, as the registrar of Agricultural has run into a controversy. The teacher's body – Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) – is opposing the decision saying it was against the rules prescribed in The Haryana and Punjab Agricultural Universities Act, 1970.
Amid opposition, Singh who was posted as the of Jalandhar Municipal Corporation Saturday took charge of the post on Saturday.
It is after 2002 that again the post has been given to an IAS officer. SK Mishra, an IAS, was the first registrar of the university and later the post was given to either an IAS or PCS official till 2002.

What Teacher Body alleges

PAUTA contended that the appointment of registrar should be from among the teaching faculty, which has to be cleared by the Board of Management (BoM). But this time IAS has been appointed directly without involvement of university authority. The association said that university is an autonomous body, “appointment of IAS is a direct attack on PAU's autonomy.”
According to the 1970 Act and statutes of the university, as available on PAU's official website, Section 17 says: “The Registrar of a corresponding University shall be a whole-time officer of that University and shall be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of that University with the approval of the Board.”

Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, vice-president, PAUTA, said: “No other university in Punjab has an IAS officer as a registrar. There are certain qualifications prescribed under UGC for this post which have to be met. The direct appointment is a violation of PAU Act and Statutes. The Board of management is the appointing authority in PAU even for the post of vice-chancellor”.

What enabled appointment of IAS

The Clause 4 of 1970 Act adds: “Provided further that so long as the post of registrar is filled on from IAS/PCS cadre, the terms of employment will be such as are settled with the State Government.”
‘The government has appointed Rishi Pal Singh under this provisions. This appointment is completely legal. The government can send its officer on this post. Since it's an administrative post, no academic experience is needed,” said a senior government official.

The BuckStopper Reporter
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