Srinagar: Asserting that “abuse of power” wouldn’t be allowed, the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir University, Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi on Saturday said there was no harm in allowing healthy and progressive student politics in the campus.
“I won’t tolerate any abuse of power by any official of the university. A close watch will kept to ensure that no wrongdoings take place here. However, if by negligence something like it happens, that must be treated as a human error, not abuse of power. We don’t have dearth of honest and dedicated men,” Prof Andrabi told Kashmir Reader after assuming the office on Saturday.
Prof Andrabi was appointed as the new V-C for a term of three years by Governor N N Vohra, who is also the Chancellor of the university.
Talking about his priorities, Prof Andrabi said that he will try to reform the academic environment and to change the prevailing mindset among the staff. He said there was also a “need to inculcate sincerity among the employees.”
“We’re good but we can be better. We lack in research. Improving research will also be one of my priorities,” he said. “I want to carry everyone on board while taking any decision. Assistant Professors, Professors, Deputy Registrars, besides the teachers association, will be part of decision making.”
Prof Andrabi said he has already discussed with Pro-Chancellor and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah about the grey areas, where special attention needs to be paid. He said the Chief Minister has assured him all possible help to address this issue.
“We know where we’re lacking. We know about the bottlenecks. However, we have to make an effort to make things better,” said Prof Andrabi, adding “To change the system is not easy. Change won’t occur overnight. We’ll set the ball rolling. Nothing will change overnight.”
Prof Andrabi said he’ll also try to upgrade the infrastructure with the help of the grants received under the Centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme.
“We’ve got enough funding from RUSA to upgrade our infrastructure. I’ll try to make best use of the grant for the betterment of the university,” he added.
When asked if the student politics would be allowed and the ban on the erstwhile Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU) will be lifted, Prof Andrabi said that he was not averse to healthy and progressive student politics in the campus.
“There are two types of politics—healthy and exploitive. In healthy politics, the opinion of students is heard. The students organize seminars and put their views and suggestions across. However, the exploitative politics carried out on the behest of some people can’t be allowed. We have to educate our kids not to get carried away with the exploiters,” he added.
Earlier, Prof Andrabi was accorded guard of honour by the university police. A large number of employees had gathered outside the administrative block to welcome the new V-C.
“We’re happy that our demand of a local V-C has been fulfilled. We’re delighted to see you in a new role,” a group of officials told Prof Andrabi.
It may be mentioned that Prof Andrabi has a doctorate from PGI Chandigarh, a post doctoral training from Tufts University Medical School Boston, MA from Harvard Medical School Boston, and MA from Cleveland Clinic Foundation Ohio, USA.
He has been the first Dean Research of the University—the office which is a single window platform for research-related services for university researchers including quality assurance.
Prof Andrabi has worked with Prof. Joseph Avruch, a pioneer in the field of signaling biology with discovery of Insulin receptor phosphorylation to his credit and collaborated with 1992 Nobel Laureate, Prof. Edwin G Krebs in understanding protein kinase CKII regulation.
He has also served in the capacity of Chairman and Professor, Department of Biotechnology at the University of Kashmir for more than nine years. He has a number of international publications and around 1200 citations to his credit.