Srinagar: At least 20 applicants have been shortlisted for the post of Kashmir University Vice-Chancellor, news agency KNT has learnt. The Search Committee will be holding its interaction with the shortlisted candidates on the 20th of this month preferably in New Delhi in offline mode.
A KU administrative official told news agency Kashmir News Trust that all the shortlisted candidates are academicians from different academic and research institutions in the country, including AMU, MANU Hyderabad, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jammu University, National Institute of Technology Srinagar and others.
Five senior professors from Kashmir University are also among the shortlisted candidates from amongst more than 130 applicants who had applied for the coveted position.
Those shortlisted from KU, according to the official, include Professor Ghulam Mohiuddin Sangmi, Dean Colleges, Professor Farooq Ahmad Masoodi, Dean Academic Affairs, Professor Nilofar Hassan Khan, former Dean Colleges and presently professor Institute of Home Sciences who superannuated on January 31 this year, Professor Sheikh Javaid Ahmad, former VC Cluster University Srinagar and presently professor Department of Physics and Professor Akbar Masood, VC Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri who has been formerly professor of Biochemistry at KU.
The Search Committee headed by Dr Pankaj Mittal will be interacting with the shortlisted candidates for two days (April 20 and April 21) and after that submit a panel of three names to Lieutenant Governor Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha who is chancellor of all the universities in the Union Territory, except the two central universities. Two others members of the KU VC Search Committee are Professor Mohammad Miyan, former VC MANU and Professor Najma Akthar, VC Jamia Milia Islamia University New Delhi. The Chancellor will select one candidate from the panel of three, sources said.
According to sources, the Search Committee has mainly considered the research, teaching, and academic achievements of the applicants during the shortlisting process, leading to the elimination of all the ineligible administrators from Kashmir University who had applied for the position despite not fulfilling these requirements.
“Some ineligible administrators from KU had tried to exert a lot of influence through different quarters to get shortlisted but the Search Committee summarily rejected their candidature for want for teaching and research experience apart from other factors including a shortfall of mandatory 10 years working of an applicant in 10000 Grade Pay,” the sources said.
It may be noted that the KU VC Search Committee had initially drawn flak from vast sections of university teachers, mainly applicants after it surfaced that the university’s Registrar had also applied for the post on the last day of submission of applications despite having initially met the Search Committee where the advertisement for the post was finalized. Since this advertisement was issued under the signatures of the same applicant Registrar, the other applicants raised a massive hue and cry and allegations of impropriety, conflict of interest, doubtful professional integrity, and blatant disregard of ethics. The applicant Registrar was soon replaced by Professor Farooq Ahmad of the Physics Department as member secretary to the Search Committee.
Pertinent to mention here that the LG Manoj Sinha earlier this month said that the appointment of VCs in Jammu and Kashmir Universities has been done purely on the basis of academic and research achievements “the results of which will be visible in coming days.” The statement was widely appreciated by cross-sections of the society, especially academic circles and aspirants for the post of VC KU.
It may be noted that since the constitution of Search Committee some four months ago, the university insiders had been constantly requesting the Chancellor and Search Committee members to finalize the process at the earliest in view of the chaos, anarchy, and uncertainty in the university where instances of employees’ infighting and administrative malfunctioning were worsening at a time when the three year term of VC Professor Talat Ahmad and Registrar Dr Nisar had already ended.
University insiders say the administrative inertia in the campus can be gauged from the fact that the outgoing VC has lately remained away from the campus for most of the last 30 days, thus frequently handing over charge to In-Charge VC Prof Shakeel Ahmad Romshoo of Islamic University which is located 40 km away from KU, thus hitting routine administrative functioning as well.
As per the outgoing VC’s itinerary accessed by KNT, he left the station initially on March 24 and returned to the campus on April 4. After being in the campus for one day on April 5, the outgoing VC again left the station to Ladakh and Jammu and continues to be out of the station since.
A Kashmir University official said the VC is scheduled to return to the campus on 18 of this month after which he is again scheduled to leave the station after a few days.
“We welcome the Search Committee shortlisting. We want the new VC to join as soon as possible so that the derailed teaching, research, and administration return back on track,” said a KU teacher, wishing anonymity. (KNT)