Srinagar: The incumbent Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, Prof Talat Ahmad, has been reappointed as Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University, four years after he completed his maiden term here.
Although the varsity has not received any official communication over the development yet, a top official at KU told Kashmir Reader that Talat was “confirmed” as KU VC.
“He is currently at Jamia. It will take him a few days to assume charge,” added the official.
Registrar KU, Prof Khursheed Ahmad Butt, confirmed that the varsity “had been told” of Prof Talat’s appointment as VC.
Asked when Talat would assume charge, Prof Butt said, “We have not yet talked to him (Talat). Once we get some document, we will talk to him.”
Prof Talat was among at least seven other shortlisted candidates including, among others, former Director EMMRC and incumbent Director Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA), Dr Shahid Rasool, Dean School of Management Studies IUST and former Dean Academic Affairs KU, Prof AM Shah, and Delhi University’s Prof Sher Ali.
Earlier, 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 – were shortlisted by the selection panel but the same panel later cancelled the appointment process saying none of the shortlisted candidates was competent.
When re-advertising the post, the government raised the age bar from 62 to 65 years.
Prof Talat had first assumed charge as KU VC on June 1, 2011. He was re-appointed by Governor NN Vohra, the pro-Chancellor of the university, for three more years upon the completion of his term in June 2014.
However, Talat declined the extension and instead joined JMI as VC later.
A former professor said that Talat “ditched” KU at that time.
“He had left KU at a time which was crucial for the institution. He thought that JMI was more prestigious than KU. He looked for his personal interests. Otherwise, if he had a soft corner for KU, he would have stayed. The KU teaching fraternity had even lobbied for his extension,” recalled the former professor.
Applications for the post of KU VC were sought in October last year after the term of the outgoing VC, Prof Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi, ended.
Talking to Kashmir Reader over phone, Prof Talat said he was yet to be relieved by Jamia for joining KU as VC.
“I am not a free person. I have to get relieved. Once I am relieved, I will join there,” Prof Talat said.
Once Jamia relieves him, Prof Talat said, he hoped that he would assume charge as KU VC “as soon as possible”.
On issues faced by KU currently, he said, “I will see into everything. Whatever solution is there, I will do that.”
Welcoming his appointment as KU VC, President of Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA), Dr Muheet, hoped that Prof Talat would “join immediately”.
“We hope that he will come up to the expectations of the university teachers and take KU to new heights,” Muheet said.
“We hope he will fix the academic and administrative mess the university is currently in. We want the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) to be streamlined. We have several other issues that we will discuss with him once he assumes charge,” added the KUTA president. Meanwhile, an official said that Prof Manoj Dhar has assumed charge as VC, Jammu University.