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Former vice chancellor of I K Gujral Punjab Technical University (PTU) Rajneesh Arora was today arrested by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau on charges of financial irregularities and administrative lapses during his tenure. He was presented in a Jalandhar court which sent him to four days in custody of the bureau for further questioning, an official spokesperson of the bureau here said. He said an inquiry was conducted by former IAS officer S S Dhillon regarding alleged irregularities committed by Arora during the year 2012-13. The state technical education department sent the inquiry report to the bureau for further action.
On the basis of the report, the vigilance bureau registered a case against Arora and others under relevant sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Arora allegedly appointed six coordinators and facilitators arbitrarily without putting out any advertisement and paid Rs 2,73,20,000 and Rs 6,53,50,000 to them during the years 2012-13 and 2013-14 respectively. After taking note of the matter, the Board of Governors had asked the VC to make all appointments only after adopting transparent procedures but he had appointed 12 coordinators and facilitators for the university. During this recruitment process, he had allegedly ignored the recommendations of the selection committee and the recruitment was made on the basis of an email received from a private firm. The spokesperson said that Arora also ignored the firms which were fulfilling the requisite conditions of the advertisement made by the university. Of the four appointment cases, the selection of firms was done without the recommendation made by the selection committee and one firm was appointed from the waiting list, he said Arora allegedly appointed his classmate Praveen Kumar as advisor of NETiit and a paid huge amount to his company, the spokesperson said. He further said an agreement was made on in 2012 between PTU and NETiit under which eight per cent of the admission fee was to be paid as consultancy fee to the firm. This admission fee was paid from the part of the payment to the Regional Centres and Learning Centres, the spokesperson claimed. He also said on September 10, 2012, the Chief Secretary, Punjab-cum-Chairman Board of the Governors, PTU had filed an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court mentioning that he had directed the university to withdraw appointment of consultants immediately, but it was not done and Rs 24,37,32,616 was paid for the work till December 2014. The spokesperson said during the ongoing investigation the role of other officials would also be probed.
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