BENGALURU: The state government has stoked a controversy by nominating Dr K Kasturirangan to the search committee to select a new Vice-Chancellor for Karnatak University, Dharwad.
Higher Education officials have opposed the move, saying Kasturirangan cannot be nominated as he is associated with the government. However, Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande has sent back their file and backed the government’s choice.
According to sources, officials are opposed to the nomination as Kasturirangan is the chairman of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. According to Section 14.3 of the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000, people associated with the state government, including sitting Vice-Chancellors, cannot be chosen as search committee members.
“Considering this, we sent a separate file the moment we received government nominee. But we have been asked to go ahead with the same name,” a source told Express.
The government had done the same thing in the case of Kuvempu University as well, he said. “Though we constantly say it is a violation of the KSU Act, higher authorities are not bothered. For the Kuvempu University search committee, the
government nominated the sitting V-C of Tumkur University. That time too, we had sought a change in nominee,” he added.
According to educationists, in such cases, the selection of the V-C can be challenged. “The Act clearly says no person connected with the affairs of the state government or college/institution affiliated to the university should be nominated to the search committee. Anybody can challenge it in a court of law,” a former vice-chancellor said.
Rajneesh Goyal, Principal Secretary to the Higher Education Department, did not respond to calls.