Archive for May, 2016

Are the Vice Chancellors Political Stooges?

May 18, 2016

The decision of the governor of Rajasthan about the process of selection of Vice Chancellors in state universities is laudable. In his notification he has devised a process which apparently sounds impartial. An all India advertisement, applications, scrutiny and then final appointment is definitely an improvement over the process adopted now. If this were in force many of the present Vice Chancellors would not be even fit to apply for the post of Vice Chancellor. The UGC in its notification published in the Gazette of India has laid down the eligibility conditions of a Vice Chancellor. It reads as:

” Persons of highest level of competence, integrity, morals and institutional commitment are to be appointed as Vice Chancellors. The ice Chancellor to be appointed should be a distinguished academician with a minimum of ten years of experience as Professor in a University system, or ten years of experience in an equivalent position in a reputed research and/or academic , administrative organization.” ( The Gazette of India , 18 Sep. 2010.)

This condition is observed more in violation across the country. In Deemed to be University institutions the UGC Regulations 2009 and 2010 exist suggesting the publishing of an advertisement at national level and then selection by the Chancellor through a selection cum search committee. But practically this is not being observed and people who are politically connected and are close to the management get appointed as Vice Chancellor.

There are instances of the appointment of Vice Chancellors in violation of these rules in state universities also. Mr. J.P. Singhal, Vice Chancellor of Rajasthan University is not even a Ph.D., He was never a professor. The honourable High Court of Rajasthan has recently issued notices to the state government ,UGC and the members of the search committee asking them to explain why an ineligible person was appointed as Vice Chancellor. In another interesting case the then Chancellor of Janardan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth has written to MHRD that the Vice Chancellor Dr.S.S.Sarangdevot did not have the eligibility when he had appointed him the Vice Chancellor. A case against Dr. Sarangdevot’s appointment is also being tried in the honourable High Court of Rajasthan.The case of Private Universities is equally worse. Dr. B.P. Sharma, VC of Pacific University was never a Professor. Every one knows that the posts of Vice Chancellors and Chairman of Boards, Sahitya Academy and UITs hae become political positions distributed to party loyalists.The recent controversy about the distortion of text books is essentially a political move dictated by the party in power.

What are the intentions of Rajbhavan? Is this notification a political gimmick only? Or is he serious about depoliticizing higher education? The names published in media about the prospective Vice Chancellor of M.L. Sukhadia University indicate that political considerations have played a role and likely to play a larger role in forthcoming days.

I would suggest that all Private Universities and Deemed Universities should be brought in the ambit of this regulation. The members of search committee should be appointed by UGC or some other independent body, they should be interviewed and the profile should be available for public scrutiny and the ten years experience as a Professor for eligibility of candidature needs to be ascertained. I would go a step further that all private and deemed universities must be governed by Rajasthan Non Government Educational Institutions Act 1989 Rules 1993 and the teachers working in these institutions must be paid UGC pay scales. The Vice Chancellors should be made personally accountable if the wages are not paid as per UGC Rules.

The governor needs to be congratulated for bringing this debate in public domain and all efforts should be made to ensure that Vice Chancellors do not become political stooges. All thr Private Universities should have RAS and RAcS officers as Registrar and Comptroller respectively. The Government must pay the salaries of the teachers in all types of Universities and perform regulatory function. The government should see the academic frauds these Private Universities have become and ask for the examination of the fee and assets of the Universities. There should be a fee deciding tribunal for Private Universities also.

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