Will take views of the faculty, students and non-teaching staff on the issue

The three-member search committee set up to identify a new Vice-Chancellor for Jawaharlal Nehru University here will visit the campus to interact with the faculty, students and non-teaching employees to assess the profile of an ideal Vice-Chancellor that each stakeholder group has in mind.

Importantly on their behalf, distinguished academics, educationists and researchers are being requested to recommend suitable names for the post.

The curriculum vitae of the names suggested would be evaluated by the search committee before it meets next.

This was decided at the first meeting of the search committee held here this past week. The committee is headed by eminent space scientist K. Kasturirangan, who is also the Visitor's nominee to the panel. P. Balaram, Director of the Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), and economist Nitin Desai are the other two members.

They were recommended by the executive council of the university.

The term of the present Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B. B. Bhattacharya, got over in June but he will continue in the post until his successor is appointed.

The committee will take about four weeks to decide on a panel which would be sent to the Union Human Resource Development Ministry and, through it, to the President in her capacity as the Visitor of the university.

Search committees have the freedom to decide on the process they wish to adopt during the selection process. It was Prof. Yash Pal as head of the search committee that identified Prof Bhattacharya who did visit the campus with the other members.

There is an increasing argument in favour of visits to the campus being made mandatory part of the search process for getting a stakeholder perspective as the present system is not transparent.

The argument is particularly important in the context of several universities facing student unrest over the selection of a Vice-Chancellor like the North East Hill University (NEHU). The situation is worse in the State universities.

It is in this context that the National Commission for Higher Education and Research proposed by the task force of the HRD Ministry has suggested a collegium of scholars to prepare a register of suitable persons out of which search committees would pick up the names for V-Cs of Central universities but maintaining such a register is not mandatory for the States. The task force submitted its report to the Ministry last month but it has not been made public.

  • Educationists are being requested to recommend names
  • The panel is headed by space scientist K. Kasturirangan