Three PU teachers get show-cause notices for travelling to USA against directives

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Show-cause notices have been issued to three Panjab University (PU) faculty members, including a former senate and syndicate member, for visiting the United States of America for a project, after the varsity rescinded its approval for the same at the last minute.

The faculty members – Sanjeev Gautam, Navdeep Goyal and Harish Kumar – have been directed to submit their response to the university within seven days. The decision to issue the notices was taken at a syndicate meeting.

The teachers had received the projects from two industries, and had planned to visit a few institutions in the USA. Initially, the varsity had sanctioned their request to travel for the Corporate Social Responsibility project, and had granted them an advance for the same in June 2022. The duty leave of two teachers was sanctioned, while objections were raised over one teacher’s travel. The teachers responded to the objections and also delivered a presentation on how the project would benefit the university.

A notice sent to one of the teachers says that on July 25, the office of the dean of university instructions (DUI) had informed them through an email that the approval to their visit to USA was being withheld due to administrative reasons. However, the teachers say that they had already left for the USA when the notice was issued.

Former senator and syndicate member professor Navdeep Goyal said, “We are working on new ways of using renewable energy so that the country’s power needs can be met in future. We will give appropriate responses to the university.”

Notably, in the previous senate Navdeep Goyal’s alliance with Ashok Goyal had the majority. Goyal, along with other five candidates from the alliance, had been declared winners in the senate election last year from the constituency of faculties, but the PU chancellor had refused to accord his approval to the election in April.

Unprecedented, arbitrary action: PUTA

Meanwhile, Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) president Mritunjay Kumar condemned the university’s decision to issue show-cause notices to the teachers. “The varsity’s action is unprecedented and arbitrary. They (the three teachers) had followed all rules and regulations prescribed by the university. Such an action will reflect badly on the university, and may impact its rankings as well.”

PU registrar YP Verma said the notices were issued as per the syndicate’s decision.


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