Dr Gosal appointed Additional Director Research at PAU

Well-known biotechnologist and Director of the School of Biotechnology at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr S S Gosal has been appointed as the Additional Director Research (Agriculture). The appointment follows a string of controversies — PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr M S Kang had selected Dr Harjit Singh for the post.

Dr Harjit Singh is also a well-known biotechnologist and is currently residing in Canada. Dr Kang had claimed that Dr Harjit Singh would join office in the first week of February but has failed to turn up. Confirming the appointment of Dr Gosal, Director Research Dr P S Minhas said: "As Dr Harjit Singh has not joined yet, we have asked the second person on the list, which happens to be Dr Gosal, to take over."

Dr Kang had to face a lot of opposition from the PAU Board of Management and even the university faculty while appointing Dr Harjit Singh. When the V-C went to the extent of appointing Dr Singh without even interviewing him, Dr Kang had cited procedure. "The PAU has such a provision — in case I feel a person can serve the university, we can forego the interview. Still, three former V-Cs of other universities have gone through Dr Singh's biodata and recommended his name," he had said.

Since Dr G S Hira retired as ADR (Agriculture) in 2007, the post has not had a regular appointment. Dr Hira was followed by Dr M S Aulakh, who is Dean of the College of Agriculture at present, on a brief stint.

A vocal opponent of the appointment was PAU Board of Management member, Avtar Singh Dhindsa. Commenting on the latest developments, he remarked: "Our objections to the appointment were ignored at the Board meetings. At that time, Dr Kang had even announced that if Dr Singh failed to join office, he too would leave. But we finally relented to give the V-C a chance to select his own team to run the university."

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