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HNLU VC Jaswal explains surprise move to RGNUL where will face similar challenges

Exclusive interview: HNLU Raipur vice-chancellor Paramjit Singh Jaswal of less than three months formally announced to students that he would join RGNUL Patiala as its new vice chancellor for personal reasons. He told Legally India that he would continue being part of the HNLU family and would face new challenges at RGNUL.

He formally announced his departure to HNLU students at 4pm earlier today and proceeded to answer their questions for an hour.

Jaswal (pictured) said that the reasons for his departure were entirely personal in order to be closer to his family, with his wife being a lecturer at Punjab University.

“I will continue to be associated with HNLU not as vice chancellor but as an elder member of the family,” he told Legally India today. “Here I am very happy. I am leaving this university in a short span of time not because of some bad reason - not at all. I addressed all the students and there’s not even an iota of wrong reasons that I am leaving. I love my students of HNLU, they are very dear to my heart and they have given me all love and affection.”

Jaswal added that he had taken a number of “reformative steps” in only one-and-a-half months at HNLU, although he could not complete some parts of his work. He changed the way the college administration worked by dividing the administration into different sections, and invited lecturers from outside, such as India’s first female IPS officer Kiran Bedi who gave a guest lecture on 19 January. He also nominated members to different unfilled statutory bodies of the universities through Supreme Court judge H. L. Dattu, who is to be the visitor of HNLU.

He also appointed Supreme Court judge H.L. Dattu as HNLU’s visitor, a post that had lain vacant and caused delays in appointing members to various statutory bodies that governed the university.

He noted that he also paved the way for students to organise the college’s South Asian environmental law conference to be held between 25 and 27 March, which law minister Veerappa Moily would attend and managed to initiated the editorial panel for the law student journal which had long been lying dormant.

Finally, Jaswal also worked on the infrastructure of the new campus, including instructing the builders to remove defects to buildings and constructing the main road to the college which had been left unfinished, he said.

Moving on

However, Jaswal acknowledged that some projects still remained unfinished that his successor would have to take up, such as adding more books and facilities to HNLU’s library.

“Immediately the priority is to have meetings of the statutory body, which have already been delayed,” he told Legally India. “Some part of the construction is yet not completed by the company to which the contract was given and I would like that part for be completed.”

Jaswal said HNLU should have a new vice chancellor in “not more than two months in any case” and even possibly within one month. While his joining date at RGNUL was not yet confirmed, he would definitely move within a month, he added.

Punjabi pastures new

At RGNUL the main challenge he would immediately have was also improving the functioning of the current “makeshift building arrangement” as the new campus was yet to come up.

“The [same] challenge which was in HNLU – that is appointment of the senior faculty members is also there,” he said. “I could not complete it here [at HNLU] because of the statutory meeting of the body was yet to take place. The difficulty I faced was because the nominations were pending that had not been made last year.”

“Jaswal Sir was the best thing which happened to the HNLU,” commented HNLU students bar association (SBA) vice president Mohit Singh. “Even in the short span of one-and-a-half months of his being here with us, we have already seen the difference. He is an institution builder and he has brought many significant changes for the betterment of this university. We are grateful to him for this and will always remember him.

“The university is deeply saddened by his leaving to RGNUL but we understand his difficulties and just hope that in the time to come we have a similar personality leading our way.”

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