Srinagar: A three-member search committee constituted for appointing a new Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University (KU) will interact with several members of the varsity this week.
The panel is led by Prof DP Agarwal, former chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), and has as members Prof Ehtisham Hasnain, Vice Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi, Prof Vijay Gupta, and former Vice Chancellor of Sharda University. The panel will hold a meeting with KU faculty and staff on March 30 and 31.
According to a notice issued by the varsity’s Registrar, Khursheed A Butt, the panel will meet Deans, Head of Departments, Directors of Centers, Professors, Associate Professors, administrative officers and research scholars. Interactions will also be held with office bearers of Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA), Kashmir University Officers Association (KUOA), and Kashmir University Ministerial Staff Association (KUMSA).
The coveted post fell vacant after Prof Khurshid Andrabi’s term expired last year. However, a controversy arose after Prof Andrabi approached court to argue that he should still hold the position due to the government having amended the university law to extend the VC’s tenure to five years from three years. The court, however, dismissed Prof Andrabi’s petition, following which the Governor’s office issued a notification to fill the vacant post.
Several senior professors of KU have submitted their application for the top post. Academics from outside the university have also filed their CVs, a varsity official said.
The panel will shortlist candidates and subsequently hold interviews.
Muheet Ahmad Butt, who heads the university teachers association, told Kashmir Reader that their association will call an executive body meeting before interacting with the panel.
“We would debate what should be our agenda before the selection committee,” he said.
Barjis Wani, a research scholar, said that research scholars will tell the panel that they want a VC who will improve the financial condition of research scholars. “To produce quality research, one needs money. We are provided money for only two years, despite the fact that PhD research can go beyond three years,” she said.
She added that in other universities there are research associates who are allowed to guide master’s students, a system that KU does not have.
Another research scholar, wishing not to be named, told Kashmir Reader that no one has approached research scholars for a meeting. “Nothing has been communicated to us as of now,” he said, adding, “A fair chance should have been provided to everyone in a systematic way to be the representative of his/her department, but it seems only blue-eyed candidates will be taken to meet the panelists.”