CHENNAI: After months of functioning without a head, Vice Chancellors were appointed for University of Madras and Madurai Kamaraj University on Saturday by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. However, all the three candidates proposed for the vice chancellorship of the Anna University were rejected by the Governor and the State government on the same day promulgated an ordinance altering the rules for the Vice Chancellor selection for all the State universities, except University of Madras.
One of the key changes was that the search panel for Vice Chancellors will compulsorily include a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or an eminent educationalist that the Governor will nominate.
Quickly setting the ball rolling, Rao nominated former Supreme Court judge RM Lodha as the convenor of the new search committee to propose names for the Vice Chancellor for the state’s top technical education university. “I just got a call from the Governor some time ago and he informed me about the nomination. I have accepted his request. I have not seen the terms of reference as yet. Even the deadline I will not be able to tell you right now,” Justice Lodha told Express.
P Duraisamy, a retired professor and former head of the department of Econometrics from the University of Madras, was appointed as the Chancellor of the university. PP Chellathurai, former dean of Madurai Kamaraj University, was appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University.
Explaining the provisions of the new ordinance, the state higher education minister KP Anbalagan said the search panel for vice chancellor will mandatorily include a person nominated by the state’s governor.
“The panel will hereafter consist of three to five members,” Anbalagan told reporters on Saturday.
The ordinance also mandates that the notification of the search panel for the Vice Chancellors be put in place six months in advance of the expiry of the Vice Chancellor of a university. The search panel members should be nominated within two months and the panel must propose the names within four months.
The aim was that the new vice chancellor will know the day the existing vice chancellor retires. If the search panel fails to meet the deadline, the governor can give it additional time or dissolve it.
Anbalagan said the ordinance was passed since the Assembly is not in session and soon the law will be amended along the lines of the norms set by the University Grants Commission.
While the governor’s nominee has to be either a retired Supreme Court or High Court judge or an eminent educationalist, the State government’s nominee should be an eminent educationist or an serving or retired IAS officer of the rank of principal secretary or above.
The senate or syndicate should nominate an eminent educationist, who should be a director of an institute of national importance or serving/retired vice chancellors or professors of ten years in any Central and State universities.
According to Higher Education Minister, the governor is not satisfied with the three proposed members when they were interviewed.
“The university has over seven lakh students. The governor said that their qualifications were not up to the mark. New search committee will be appointed and within four months the announcement of a Vice Chancellor for the Anna University will be made,” the minister said.
He also said that it is not that the three names submitted by the search committee is not eligible, but Anna University being a largest technical University, the governor seeks for a person with higher capabilities to be appointed as Vice Chancellor.