In a sharp reaction to reports in a particular section of the press today questioning the research credentials of their Vice-Chancellor, faculty members of Panjab University came out in strong support of Prof. R.C. Sobti by instituting a signature campaign in his favour – details of which will be sent to the University’s Chancellor and Vice-President Dr. Hamid Ansari tomorrow.
This counters the claim made by a few office bearers of PUTA of having acted on their behalf in approaching Dr. Ansari to institute an enquiry against Prof. Sobti. Many faculty members expressed their angst at the manner in which institutional prestige was being jeopardized by needless controversies and questioned the timing of these newsreports towards the tailend of the Vice-Chancellor’s tenure.
Faculty members questioned the nullification of collaborative research and meta analysis in the denunciation of Prof. Sobti’s research output by a particular newspaper when the same had won him accolades from a screening-intensive scientific community, both at home and abroad, during an illustrious academic career spanning nearly four decades. Many expressed surprise at the conjecture over the number of papers published by Prof. Sobti as it is a given that one tends to publish more prolifically when one is at the pinnacle of one’s career. They also expressed surprise at the figure of a mere 39 papers purported to have been published by Prof. Sobti prior to his becoming the Vice Chancellor since he is not known to be a phasic researcher. The figure available in public domain is closer to 240 papers. Others, themselves juggling multiple roles, questioned the premise that if one is appointed to an administrative post then one should cease to be a researcher.