Faculty aghast, says Talat Ahmad’s application even should not have been accepted
Srinagar: The selection committee formed by the state government to shortlist candidates for the coveted post of Kashmir University Vice Chancellor (VC) has shortlisted former VC of KU and incumbent VC of Jamia Millia Islamia, Talat Ahmad, and two others for the post.
Sources in the university said that besides Talat, former director of EMMRC and incumbent director of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA) Dr Shahid Rasool is among the shortlisted candidates. The name of the third candidate could not be ascertained yet.
Talat’s nomination has infuriated the majority of KU’s teaching and non-teaching staff. They say that Talat literally ditched Jammu & Kashmir state in general and the Kashmir University in particular after he was given extension when the last time he held the post.
A professor of the varsity, speaking to Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity, said that it was a shame for the whole state that a person who despite being given extension after tiresome lobbying by the faculty chose to move to Jamia Millia Islamia and literally created a vacuum in the varsity.
“He rejected the extension for his personal benefits. Accepting his form even is disrespectful to the people of Kashmir,” the professor said.
A top source in the university administration said that the application form of Talat should not have been accepted. “Isn’t it a shame that even his form has been accepted for the coveted post?” he said.
Many faculty members also raised similar concerns and said that Talat should never be allowed or accepted as the VC of the university.
They said that the university administration and state government intentionally dragged the process of “hunt for KU VC” to allow “like-minded” people to apply and get into the final list.
In April this year, the three-member panel constituted to select the new VC had shortlisted three candidates: Professor AK Pasha of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Prof GM Bhat of Jammu University, and Prof Javed Musarrat, VC of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri.
However, on April 25, it was reported that the post of the Vice Chancellor was being re-advertised, as none of the candidates shortlisted was found suitable to lead the prestigious institution.
Sources said that the need for re-advertisement arose because the candidates shortlisted did not meet the academic standards and administrative acumen that the authorities were looking for.
The post of VC had first been advertised in the month of March and a total number of 60 candidates had applied for it.
In the second week of April, the search committee had shortlisted 12 candidates for the interaction-cum-presentation that was held at Jamia Hamdard University in New Delhi on April 15 and 16. None of the shortlisted candidates was selected.
A former top administrative official of the varsity questioned as to how the selection committee shortlisted candidates who were later found “incompetent” for the post.
“The dilly-dallying process was being adopted to let a particular person take up the post,” he said, without naming Talat.
Talat earlier served as Vice-Chancellor of KU for three years after taking the post from his predecessor Riyaz Punjab on June 1, 2011. After completion of 3 years of his tenure, he was given extension by the state government. Days after availing the extension, Talat’s name appeared in the shortlisted candidates for the Vice Chancellor’s post at Jamia Millia Islamia. He left Kashmir University midway and chose JMI.