The Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC) may recommend a new addition to respective University Acts that will make it mandatory for a vice-chancellor to go on leave during an inquiry. Meanwhile, the Higher Education Department is apparently serious of abolishing political interference in the appointment of vice-chancellors.
“If any V-C is found guilty prima-facie, we are contemplating to recommend an addition that will grant powers to the appointing authority to send the errant V-C on leave during inquiry,” sources told Express. The Karnataka State Universities (KSU) Act 2000, however, does not specify or mandate that a V-C has to demit office when an inquiry has been initiated against him/her. Section 14 (7) of the KSU Act states, “The vice-chancellor shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the Chancellor passed on the ground of willful omission or refusal to carry out the provisions of this Act or for abuse of the powers vested in him and on the advice tendered by the state government on consideration of the report of an inquiry ordered by it.”
“It is fit for a V-C in this position to go on leave to uphold the dignity of the post,” said an official from KSHEC on conditions of anonymity. He added that the plan would be discussed with the next higher Education minister, the portfolio which is currently held by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.
Recently, Visvesvaraya Technological University Vice-chancellor Dr H Maheshappa continued in office as the V-C even after Governor and Chancellor H R Bhardwaj initiated a one-man committee probe to look into the allegation that Maheshappa had misled the search committee during his appointment. Former Bangalore University V-C Dr M S Thimmappa said,”The quality of V-Cs as such is deteriorating. However, I don’t think this proposal is a big thing.”