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Remembrance rakes yoga mat row at Panjab University


Tribune News Service

Deepankar Sharda

Chandigarh, January 24th

Allegations of corruption at Panjab University (PU) have not ended after the resignation of former Vice Chancellor Raj Kumar. In a recent controversy, the Director of Sport and Physical Education has sent a reminder to all wardens to realize Rs 13,500 each instead of buying 600 yoga mats for last year’s Yoga Day celebrations.

Some PU senators have claimed that not even a single mat was purchased by home managers for the Yoga Day celebrations. This was also one of the corruption allegations leveled against Professor Raj Kumar, which allegedly became one of the reasons for his resignation.

According to the records, the university decided to celebrate International Yoga Day 2022 in a big way. A committee was formed to approve funds worth around Rs 18.5 lakh. It was recommended to use the amount from the merged fund, which reports to the Dean’s Office for Student Welfare (DSW). However, only Rs 2 lakh has been released by the university authorities.

The committee decided that at least 30 students from each dorm, including the international dorm and the women’s work home, would be motivated to attend the camp and these dorms will pay for the purchase of mats.

However, when the home managers were asked to use the home funds for post-celebration payments, only three home managers responded, while the others disagreed with the order, claiming that they had not been informed of purchasing yoga mats from the home funds, nor do they have anything get from it.

Confusion by DSW Office: Director

“The confusion is caused by the DSW office as they simply sent the invoices to the guards instead of including an accompanying slip with the order. That was decided by the purchasing committee, to which DSW also belonged. We have distributed 600 mats and the seller is now asking for payment. I have no choice but to send the reminder. As a node officer, our office dealt with the purchase of mats. The provider was selected on the basis of a local offer and the students of the residence took part in the event,” said Dr. Prashant Kumar Gautam, Director of Physical Education and Sport, who claims to have all the documents related. Meanwhile, DSW remained unavailable for comment.

Clear corruption: dude

“We will operate within the zero tolerance policy towards corruption in Chandigarh. This is an open corruption case where no purchase was made but invoices were made. This warning (order) clearly shows that the mastermind behind the corruption is gone, but it is still running in the veins of the authorities. We will ask the Vice Chancellor to order a CBI investigation into all corruption issues in the PU,” said Davesh Moudgil, former Mayor of Chandigarh and PU Fellow.

timeline

May 13, 2022: A 12-member committee is formed to follow UGC guidelines at the month-long Yoga Day celebrations.

May 18: The committee unanimously approves the hiring of two yoga teachers for the month-long camp. There is also his nod for the purchase of 2,000 yoga mats at a cost of around Rs 10 lakh.

May 27: It is decided to buy only 600 mats.

November 2: Senior Fellow Satya Pal Jain raises issues with the VC office.

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