NGO recommends appointment of retired professor as KU pro-VC

Srinagar: A major controversy has erupted at Kashmir University as a ‘non-government organisation’ has written to the Jammu and Kashmir government to appoint a retired professor as the varsity’s first Pro Vice-Chancellor “in violation of norms”.
Kashmir Reader has learnt that the Jammu and Kashmir Peace Foundation (JKPF), a “non-political movement for global peace, prosperity, brotherhood and communal harmony” in November, wrote to Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to appoint Prof Ghulam Mustafa Shah, who retired recently at KU’s Zoology department as the maiden Pro VC at KU.
Although the position of Pro VC is provided in the Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act, 1969, the appointment is out of the place under the prevalent circumstances after the abrogation of Article 370.
Like the appointment of Vice Chancellor, the pro VC as per the act has to be appointed by the Chancellor in consultation with the pro Chancellor amongst the persons whose names are submitted by a Committee constituted over the matter.
However, after the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile J&K state into union territories, KU was virtually without a chancellor as LG was yet to be officially appointed to the post even as the amendments in the Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act, 1969 were awaiting formal announcement, official sources told Kashmir Reader.
Besides, the varsity is also without a pro-Chancellor, who used to be chief minister in the erstwhile J&K state.
“As long as the administration is doing it as per official procedure, it is most welcome. But if it is being done for a particular individual, it is a problem because the act will be violated,” an official said.
Chairman, JK Peace Foundation, Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, confirmed that he wrote a letter to LG about it and expects the government to give its assent to Prof Shah’s appointment as the maiden Pro VC given his experience and “peace loving demeanour”.
Shah’s elevation to the post, he said, “will fix the system at KU and will enable the students there to attain knowledge in a peaceful manner”.
According to him, Shah “would be accessible to everyone and will facilitate the local students”.
Asked how the appointment can occur in absence of a Chancellor and Pro VC, Bhat said, “The lieutenant Governor is there. I don’t think it is a big deal. I hope the LG will give his assent to the request”.
A top official at KU said that LG has forwarded Prof Shah’s CV along with the letter to the varsity administration for its comments “without any commitment”.

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