BANGALORE : A cold war between the government and the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the past few months is delaying the appointment of vice-chancellors to various state universities.
The posts of vice-chancellors at Kuvempu University in Shimoga, Vijayanagara Sri Krishnadevaraya University in Bellary, Rani Channamma University in Belgaum, Gulbarga University in Gulbarga and Karnataka Samskrit University, Bangalore, are vacant. The post in Karnatak University in Dharwad will fall vacant by October-end.
Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande has reportedly blamed the UGC for the delay in appointment. At a recent event in Shimoga, Deshpande told reporters, “We are ready to constitute search committees, but the UGC is not responding to our repeated communication about sending their nominees.”
A source in the UGC said the government ignored the person appointed by the UGC for the search committees.
The source told ‘Express’: “While selecting vice-chancellors for Bangalore University, and recently for Visvesvaraya Technological University in Belgaum, the meetings were convened in the absence of the UGC nominee. And a decision was finalised though the nominated members requested a change in the meeting schedule. We have instructions from higher authorities not to proceed further in this regard. I cannot talk more on this.”
When contacted, an official from the Higher Education Department said they would discuss the subject with the principal secretary, who could write to the UGC about constituting a search committee without their nominee. “Our repeated efforts have not got replies,” the official said.
Principal Secretary for Higher Education Rajneesh Goel was not available for comment.
During the selection of vice-chancellor for the Bangalore University in January last year, the UGC had sent Prof S K Joshi as its nominee. But due to his prior appointments he had requested the Higher Education Department to revise the dates. But the officials went ahead with the meeting in his absence.
Again a few months ago, during the selection of VTU vice-chancellor, the government convened a meeting in the absence of a UGC nominee. The UGC seems to have taken these incidents seriously and decided not to respond to the state government’s communication.