BENGALURU: Former vice-chancellor of Tumakuru University Prof SC Sharma is all set to head the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), the organisation assessing and accrediting higher education Institutions in India. The institution which is located in Bengaluru, had its director’s post vacant since six months as the then head Prof DP Singh was appointed as chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC). According to highly placed sources from UGC, Prof Sharma’s name has been finalized and an official order will be issued in a day or two.
With this appointment, Prof Sharma will be the second Kannadiga to head NAAC, the first one being Prof HA Ranganath, former vice Chancellor of Bangalore university.“The selection committee constituted by UGC for selection of chairman for NAAC had invited eight persons for interview from across the nation on May 21. Of the eight, two were shortlisted and Sharma was one among them,” said a source from UGC.
However, this decision by the UGC or Central government has raised several eyebrows in Karnataka as Prof Sharma had several allegations against him when he was a vice-chancellor of Tumakuru University. As per the documents available, Sharma is alleged to have awarded PhDs to several candidates within a duration of six months.
This became a big issue then, besides being accused of enjoying two posts at a time — one as VC and another as vice chairman of state higher education council. He is is also said to have drawn the highest salary as compared to other VCs. Moreover, according senior academicians, there is no clarity over Sharma’s academic profile.
“First he was a principal of RV College of Engineering and then appointed as vice chancellor of Tumkur University. But his academic record itself has several allegations and no one has clarity about it,” said a former VC of one of the state universities.Meanwhile Sharma’s appointment as Director for IIT-Dharwad had also seen a lot of opposition wherein many elected representatives, including former education minister Basavaraja Horatti, raised objections over his appointment, following which Prof Sharma had resigned from the director’s post within a few months.
Besides this, Prof Sharma has not completed his tenures at most of his appointments.
After completing his tenure as VC Tumakuru University, he had been appointed as VC of Vivekananda Technical University, Chhattisgarh, but he resigned after one-and-a-half years.
Later, he joined BMS College of Engineering, but also quit within a few months before joining Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering. That, too, he quit within months.
That was when he was appointed as Director, IIT, Dharwad, but had to resign due to objections raised.
Prof Sharma told The New Indian Express: “These are all baseless allegations against me which have been floated without even seeing the papers.”