VC appointments only after CM meets Governor

The exercise of appointing the Vice-Chancellors of Telangana universities will be taken up only after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao meets Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, sources say.

Though the government has made a beginning in this regard, the exercise will gain momentum only after the meeting where the CM wishes to personally discuss a few issues. The government is considering a possible situation of the Governor returning the appointments file with objections and doesn’t want to land in such a predicament.

Search committee

The thinking stems from the fact that the Governor has, so far, not approved the file related to the second term of Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor Karunakar Reddy. She apparently withheld the file on the grounds that no search committee was constituted for the appointment while the government maintains that such a panel was mandatory for only fresh appointments and not for extension of term.

As per the accepted practice, the search committee, along with nominees from the university, government and the University Grants Commission (UGC), suggests three names with CM’s choice at the top of the list. The Governor in the normal course accepts and gives the nod. Rarely is the file sent back.

Therefore, the government wishes to share its views over the appointments with the Governor first, explaining the social balancing strategy and rules followed before taking up the process.

Without a VC

Meanwhile, a majority of universities have been functioning without a head for the past 18 months, although in the last one year, there was no possibility of taking up the exercise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That reduced some amount of pressure on the government.

Apart from demands from teachers and students, the delay has also acquired a political hue with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioning the motive over the delay. The party members also took up the issue with the Governor recently.

Presently, most universities are headed by IAS officers following completion of tenure of respective VCs in July 2019. Osmania University and Mahatma Gandhi University are headed by Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration Arvind Kumar, Satavahana University by T. Chiranjeevulu and Kakatiya University by Agriculture Commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy.

Palamuru University and Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies are managed by Rahul Bojja, Secretary and Commissioner of Scheduled Caste Development.

Other IAS officers functioning as in-charge VCs include Neetu Kumari Prasad (Telangana University and Potti Sriramulu Telugu University); Vikas Raj (Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University); Jayesh Ranjan (Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad) and Chitra Ramchandran (Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University).

These officers are already burdened with their positions in the government and rarely get time to concentrate on the varsity administration.

However, after a long gap, two VCs were recently appointed, filling up the vacancies at Konda Laxman Bapuji Horticulture University and P.V. Narasimha Rao Veterinary Science University.

What CM wants

Government officials say they are ready to carry out the process for other varsities and all that they are waiting for is a go-ahead from the Chief Minister, who is yet to work out the combinations and permutations of social justice and quality men. “The CM is serious about reviving Osmania University and Kakatiya University, both of which he considers have been highly politicised with academics taking a back seat. He wants some tough men with academic and administrative credentials to set the system back on track and to stem further deterioration,” a source in the government revealed.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 11:07:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/vc-appointments-only-after-cm-meets-governor/article33603205.ece

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