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New UGC vice-chairman soon

With interactions of candidates with a search-cum-selection committee taking place on Thursday, the University Grants Commission is set to have a new Vice-Chairman soon.

The post had fallen vacant some months ago.

The candidates who were short-listed for the interaction, sources say, included JNU professor Ashwini Mahapatra, UGC secretary Jaspal Singh Sandhu and Delhi University professor Bidyut Chakrabarty, among others.

Front runner

The search-cum-selection committee, sources say, includes the Secretary (Higher Education), former Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University (Nagpur) Vice-Chancellor Pankaj Chande, Karnataka Central University Chancellor N.R. Shetty and former North Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Balvant Jani on it.

Present UGC secretary Jaspal Sandhu is being seen as the front runner for the post, though the decision is likely to take some days.

Also, with UGC chairman Ved Prakash having retired, a search-cum-selection committee is set to look for a successor for him.

Sources say the committee will have H.R. Nagendra, who has done his doctorate from IISc Bengaluru in mechanical engineering and has also been associated with Harvard University and Imperial College, London, on it.

Former Lucknow University Vice-Chancellor D.P. Singh and former Saurashtra University Vice-Chancellor K.P. Joshipura are also on the committee, the sources add.

With the UGC having faced flak from some committees in the past, the new team at the helm will have its task cut out.

Faces flak

The higher education regulator faced flak from the TSR Subramanian Committee, which while providing inputs for the new education policy argued that the law that created the UGC be allowed to lapse.

The committee’s report, submitted recently to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, said the UGC had been unable to effectively implement its regulations aimed at ensuring the quality of higher education over the years.

The report had itself cited the earlier Hari Gautam Committee report, saying that the report was understood to have concluded that the UGC did not have adequate number of personnel of requisite quality to be an effective regulatory force in the higher education sector.

NAAC grades

The MHRD has also made the NAAC grades of educational institutions certifying quality almost irrelevant by devising the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) to rank institutions. NAAC is an autonomous body under the UGC.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:45:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-ugc-vice-chairman-soon/article18030806.ece

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