Srinagar: The government has constituted two separate search committees to draw a panel of candidates for the appointment of Vice Chancellor (VC) for the University of Kashmir (KU) and Jammu University (JU).
The development comes after the three-year term of the incumbent VCs of both the universities expired this year.
Earlier, the tenure of the VC of the universities was five years which was curtailed to three years after the Reorganisation Act came into vogue in J&K post abrogation of Article 370.
The amendments in the tenure of the VC of a university in J&K were made in the wake of the implementation of the J&K Reorganisation Adaptation of State Laws Order, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of J&K and Ladakh Affairs on 31 March 2020.
“After that, the Higher Education Department submitted a file to the Chancellor’s office stating that the tenure of the university VC has been reduced to only three years,” an official said. “The file was sent to MHA for their input wherefrom it was declared that the term of VC KU and JU will be only for three years.”
Meanwhile, an official communication addressed to the Registrar JU Arvind Jasrotia, the Under Secretary in the office of Lieutenant Governor (LG) who is also the Chancellor J&K universities, has said that Prof Arun Kumar Grover, the former VC Punjab University has agreed to be the Chairman of the Search Committee as per Section 12 (2) (b) of Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act, 1969.
“The University Act and Statutes prescribes that two persons not connected with the university or any constituent or affiliated college of that university are to be nominated by the University Council on the Search Committee,” the official communication reads.
The Chancellor’s office has intimated that it was not feasible to convene a meeting of the University Council only for this purpose and the Chancellor has identified the eminent academicians to serve as members on the Search Committee.
The members of the search committee for the appointment of VC for JU are VC Nagaland University Prof Pardeshi Lal and former VC Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University Delhi Prof Anil Kumar Tyagi.
“In this context, I am desired to request you to urgently seek the consent of the members of the University Council through circulation and inform this Secretariat accordingly,” the official communication reads.
A separate search committee has been constituted for the appointment of a new VC for KU.
General Secretary Indian Association of Universities Pankaj Mittal has been appointed as the Chairperson while VC Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi Prof Najma Akhtar and former VC of MANUU Prof Muhammad Miyan are the two members of the search committee.
A top official said the incumbent VC KU and JU had batted for their continuation as VC of the respective university for five years.
“But their plea was turned down by the government and government-initiated process for appointment of new VCs for both the universities,” the official said.
The incumbent VC KU, Prof Talat Ahmad, and Manoj Kumar Dhar were appointed as the Vice Chancellor of KU and JU in July last week of 2018.
Manoj Dhar assumed the charges on July 26 while KU VC Prof Talat Ahmad assumed the office on August 7.
As per the J&K University Act, the incumbent VC of KU and JU are supposed to continue in the office till their successor joins the office.