SRINAGAR: As top administrative slots in Kashmir’s two prominent universities—Kashmir University (KU) and Central University of Kashmir (CUK)—await for appointment of the new Vice-Chancellors, curiosity in the academic circles remains on high regarding the choice authorities will have to make between the academicians from within or outside the state.
Both the universities are currently headed by in-charge Vice-Chancellors as Governor NN Vohra on Wednesday appointed Prof. Ali Mohammad Shah, Dean Academic Affairs, as acting V-C of KU after Prof Talat Ahmad gave up his position to head Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi, while the authorities recently gave temporary charges to Prof Meraj-ud-Din to head the CUK after the varsity’s first V-C Prof Wahid Qureshi retired from the post.
According to sources, many senior professors of Kashmir University are eyeing and thinking to apply for the position before the selection committee is likely to be constituted by State Governor and University chancellor NN Vohra within a week.
“Senior professors like Prof G M Shah, Prof Tasavur Kant, Prof G M Sofi and Prof A M Shah are expected to apply for the VC’s position. And many of them have the requisite experience for the coveted post,” the sources told Kashmir Reader.
Of late, the government has preferred external candidates like Prof Riyaz Punjabi and Prof Talat Ahmad over the academicians from within the state for the position.
“Many professors at KU had applied for the V-C’s position, but the state chose Punjabi and Talat. This time also, the speculations are ripe in the varsity that a non-local V-C may again be preferred,” the insiders said.
In the hunt for CUK’s new V-C, around 40 academicians from various states, including Jammu and Kashmir, had submitted their CVs before three committee set up by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee.
The insiders at CUK said the committee, comprising Prof Radha Kumar, Prof S K Sopori, and Prof Balram, has shortlisted nine candidates for the position, of which Prof Khursheed Andrabi, Prof A M Sofi, and Prof Meraj-ud-Din, who are from Kashmir, are topping the list.
Prof Wahid Qureshi was the first V-C of CUK, but after his departure “the question remains whether the government opts for a local or goes with what has been the trend in Kashmir,” a senior academician at CUK told Kashmir Reader.