BENGALURU: In a span of one month, Chief Minister Siddarmaiah has, in separate notes, recommended three professors for one post of registrar-administration in the Bangalore University.
Confirming this, Higher Education department officials said, “We received three recommendation letters from the Chief Minister in the last one month which had names of three different people.” According to information available with Express, all the notes came on official letterheads of the Chief Minister along with his signature.
A senior official in the department who handles these files said, “First, we received a note recommending Dr Janardhanam. The second was for Prof Ramachandra Gowda and the third and most recent one which we received on Monday recommended Prof B K Ravi.”
The confused staffers sent the files to the Higher Education Minister. “We had put up a file and forwarded the first two notes to the Higher Education Minister which he sent back with the jotting — ‘look into it after April when present registrar administration retires’,” said official.
But on Monday afternoon, they received another recommendation letter from the CM asking them to act on it immediately. Following this, the official said, “All the three notes were sent again to the Higher Education Minister. Further action will be taken only after we receive some communication from the minister,” he added.
The present registrar-administration of Bangalore University, Prof K N Ningegowda, retires on April 30. His colleagues — Dr Janardhanam, director, Canara Bank School of Management, BU; Prof B K Ravi, Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication; and Prof Ramachandra Gowda, professor at Commerce department — are in the race for the post.
Senior officials of the department, who were both surprised and confused over the recommendation notes, said, “We still don’t understand how the CM can issue such notes. We wonder whether he is aware of such notes coming out with his signature in his official letterhead.”
When contacted, officials in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said, “The CM might have signed them routinely.”
It is not the first time that the CM is recommending names for key posts at universities. Earlier too, he had issued recommendation letters in favour of Dr Janardhanam and Prof N S Ashok Kumar for the post of BU registrar.
Former V-C of Bangalore University, Dr N Prabhu Dev said, “The chief minister may have issued such letters due to political pressure. But the registrar is a Class-1 officer’s post and the CM has appointing authority. Even if it is more than one recommendation, the final appointment will be based on his directives to the concerned department after verifying their track record.”