KU VC appointment in final stage | Search Committee submits 3 names to Chancellor

Kashmir University
Kashmir University File/ GK

Srinagar: The Search Committee constituted to find the new Vice-Chancellor for the University of Kashmir (KU) has finished its task and recommended the final panel of three names to the J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha.

A top official told Greater Kashmir that the Search Committee headed by Dr Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General, Indian Association of Universities (AIU) met in New Delhi on April 20-21 to interact with 21 shortlisted candidates from amongst 119 eligible applicants for the coveted position.

Based on the performance of candidates in the interaction, the Search Committee submitted the panel of three names to the LG, who is the Chancellor of J&K Universities, on Friday to pick the final candidate, he said.

“The panel is submitted as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Universities Act, 1969, in an alphabetical order, and not in the order of merit of candidates, for the Chancellor to make the final decision based on academic and research achievements/credentials,” the official said.

Sources said the three academicians in the final panel include one each professor from Kashmir University, Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi. Meanwhile, after seeking necessary clearances from different agencies, the Chancellor will issue the formal order in favour of the final candidate.

“The orders in regard to KU VC are expected in the next few days,” the sources said. Pertinently, more than 130 applicants—40 percent from within KU—had applied for the position after the Chancellor constituted the Search Committee in December last year.

The final tally of candidates, after checking the eligibility criteria, came down to 119 and 22 amongst them were shortlisted for the interaction with the Search Committee.

“Only one shortlisted candidate, who was from SKUAST Kashmir, did not appear for the interaction for personal reasons,” the sources said. The Search Committee comprised Professor Mohammad Miyan, former VC MANU Hyderabad and Dr Najma Akhtar, VC Jamia Millia Islamia as its members.

Notably, the new VC at KU will replace earth-scientist Prof Talat Ahmad whose three-year term ended in August 2021.

Prof Talat was initially appointed for a period of five years but his term was curtailed to three years after the implementation of the J&K Reorganisation Act which came into vogue after the Centre abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Academics at the KU had urged the Chancellor and Search Committee to expedite the process of VC selection to put an end to the prevailing academic uncertainty in the university, where many policy decisions are pending for approval by the new VC.

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