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Confusion in KU over appointment of new VC

Srinagar, Feb 19: Confusion continues in the Kashmir University, even as the High Court has rejected the petition of Prof Khurshid Andrabi for extension to his term as the Vice Chancellor.
The High Court on Friday dismissed a plea of Andrabi, seeking directions for his continuation as VC for a period of five years by virtue of amended Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act 1969.
Now, there is uncertainty how long Andrabi will continue as VC of the varsity as “no exercise” has been started so far for the appointment of new VC.
An official of the KU said that there is “confusion” for the last four months after the term of Professor Andrabi ended on October 17, last year. “Although the term of incumbent VC has ended but there is uncertainty over the appointment of new VC,” the official said.
There is also uncertainty over the decisions taken by Andrabi in the last four months.
“We don’t know whether the Governor, who also happens the Chancellor of the varsity, endorse the decisions taken by incumbent VC and interviews conducted since October 17,” the official said.
Last month, Raj Bhawan directed the vice chancellors of Jammu and Kashmir universities “not to conduct interviews or take policy decisions”.
“Professor Andrabi is in dilemma whether his orders and decisions are accepted or not,” the official said.
Professor Andrabi was appointed as the VC KU on October 17, 2014, for three years.
His three year term ended on October 17, 2017. However, he approached the court and sought benefits of the Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act 1969 in 2015, for his five year term.
In September 2017, a committee comprising Prof. D P Aggarwal, former chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Prof. Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain, VC of the Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi along with Prof. Vinay Gupta, incumbent VC of the Sharda University, Noida was formed to look for the new VC.
However, no exercise has been conducted by the committee over the appointment of new VC so far, sources said.
Sources said that process for new VC takes few months.
“A notification has to be issued to seek applications from the desired candidates for the VC post. After which the search committee has to scrutinize their documents and 10 people have to be called for interview. The committee has to recommend three names, and then Governor has discretionary power to choose one,” sources said.
One of the senior most professors of the varsity said that exercise should have been conducted four months before the term of incumbent VC ended on October 17.
“It takes months to complete the whole process,” he said, who is also eligible for the VC post.
There is also a demand from the KU officials that a “competent” person should be appointed as VC.
“Irrespective of local or an outside, one who is good in academics, dynamic, and teacher friendly should be appointed as VC,” Kashmir University Teacher Association, President, Dr Muheet Ahmed Butt, said.
“No VC can be compared with Professor Tareen, who was a dynamic and visionary. KU needs a VC like him,” Bhat said.
Meanwhile, various senior officials refused to comment on these issues.
“There is problem at university but we can’t do anything as it is related to head of the institution,” the official said, wishing not to be quoted by name. “”Government should clear the confusion whether Professor Andrabi has all the power till he continues as VC,” the official added.