‘Fallen relations with Governors office led to VC’s exit’

Srinagar: Amid the uncertainty over appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for Kashmir University (KU), the incumbent vice chancellor Prof Khurshid Andrabi will continue to hold office till the civil secretariat moves back to summer capital.

Though, Professor Andrabi has been directed not to take any policy decisions, sources in the University say that the present VC was not given an extension given the breakdown in his personal relation with the governor’s office.

“Otherwise the government didn’t want him to be removed or replaced,” sources said.

They said the issues cropped up during the 2016 unrest when the Governor wanted the University to remain functional post the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, however, as per the sources the incumbent VC refused to accept the diktat and ordered closure of class work given the then prevailing situation in Kashmir Valley.

“The VC didn’t like much interference as KU is an autonomous body but there were pressures from several sides which were aimed to letting Prof Andrabi compromise on various fronts,” sources said.

Interestingly, as per the University Act, the incumbent Vice chancellor has to continue in office till his successor is appointed. “But he can’t take policy decisions without the consent from the Chancellor,” sources said.

Though, a search committee was constituted last year as three year tenure of the present Vice Chancellor ended on October 17 last year.

Sources said it will take almost over two months for the committee to complete the process of appointing a new vice chancellor.

“First they will advertise the post, and then candidates will apply and will be followed screening and an interview. Then the panel will be formed and submitted to the state’s Governor who is the Chancellor of the University,” the sources said.

Notably, the search committee is headed by Prof. D P Aggarwal, the former chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

Other member of the search committee include Prof. Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain, the current VC of the Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi along with Prof. Vinay Gupta the incumbent VC of the Sharda University, Noida.

The search committee was constituted at a time when the present coalition government in 2015 brought amendments in the Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act, 1969 in the Legislative Assembly, mentioning therein that in the sub-section (5) of section (12) of the Act, the words “three years” shall be substituted by the words “five years”.

Meanwhile, sources said the search committee constituted to find a new face as VC for the varsity is yet to start its work on the process and has not even advertised the post.

“The committee has been constituted months ago but they are yet to start working on the proposed job,” sources said.

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