‘I’ve been trying for the post for many years and am qualified’

Remains of firecrackers and garlands outside the Vice-Chancellor’s (VC’s) office marked the change of guard at Bangalore University on Wednesday as N. Prabhu Dev handed over charge to the new acting VC, N. Rangaswamy, before making a quiet exit.

Addressing his first press conference at Central College, Prof. Rangaswamy admitted he has been trying for the top job for many years and declared his intentions of becoming more than a temporary replacement. “I have all the necessary qualifications,” he said.

He emphasised his administrative style is not autocratic.

“I will not give room for grouses,” he said, asked about the rocky relationship his predecessor shared with sections of the Syndicate and Academic Council.

Asked to comment on his chemistry with Dr. Prabhu Dev’s bête noire, Registrar (Administration) B.C. Mylarappa, he said: “It all depends on one’s approach. We will discuss and make decisions.”

Without endorsing the university’s bifurcation directly, he said he believes in decentralisation of administration. “But it is a policy matter of the government.”

Promoting research, looking into the demands of the non-teaching staff, providing infrastructure and resolving the appointments of various heads of departments were his priority.

Open letter again

Meanwhile, Dr. Prabhu Dev bid adieu through his favourite mode: open letter. Listing his achievements during his three-and-a-half-year tenure as Vice-Chancellor, he has thanked several people, including Prof. Mylarappa. Sarcastic remarks on a former Vice-Chancellor and the “insensitive” media run through the letter, in which he confessed he was expecting this day given “the turbulence every day for the last 10 months”.

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