A recent appointment made in the Department of Biophysics of Panjab University (PU) came under scanner after allegations were made that the selected candidate was given incorrect marks.
The selection committee, headed by PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Arun Kumar Grover, erred in awarding ‘extra’ marks to Pavitra Ranawat, who was found fit for the post of Assistant Professor in the Biophysics Department.
The meeting of the selection committee for making appointments in the concerned department - one in the General category and one in the Scheduled Caste category- was held on November 9, 2012 in the V-C office.
According to the PU template, a maximum of 15 marks can be awarded to a candidate for his publications in national and international journals. It is alleged that Ranwat was given 8.46 marks out of 15. However, the documents submitted by the selected candidate showed a score of four publications as 45.
Considering this, her marks came out to be 4.5, but she was given 3.96 marks extra. Moreover, the selected candidate had also submitted incorrect information to the committee regarding the impact factor of one of the publications. The impact factor of the American Journal of Biomedical Sciences was projected as around 6, whereas this journal did not have an impact factor, but an Index Corpernicus Value.
Dr Anshoo Malhotra, the aggrieved candidate, had given various representations to the V-C and even written to the office of the Chancellor and Vice-President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari, but to no effect.
When Chandigarh Newsline asked the V-C Prof Grover about the issue, he said, “I do not know what you are asking about. The selection committee had done its job.”
Overall, Ranwat had obtained 60.57 marks out of 100 whereas Malhotra had obtained 58.3 marks. If rules were adhered to, the committee could have given her 56.61 marks. Though the Syndicate had approved the appointment in its recently held meeting, the Senate is yet to approve the appointment.
“I had given various representations to the authority, but to no avail. The authorities had committed a gross error while calculating the exact marks of the selected candidate. The authorities had violated the UGC norms,” said Malhotra.
According to the official information, even the self evaluation proforma of the selected candidate is missing from selection committee proceedings being attached to Syndicate agenda.
When one of the selection committee members was contacted, Prof H D Khanna of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), said, “The committee did a selection based on the documents being provided to us. If any discrepancies are found, then an inquiry committee should look into it.”