V-C aspirants decry babus appointments at varsities

Osmania University

Osmania University


Maharashtra has taken steps to reduce govt interference and promote autonomy of the State Universities

Hyderabad: The appointment of government officials as the in-charge vice-chancellors for the third time after the formation of Telangana assumes significance at a time when repeated national conferences by the V-Cs expressing concerns over the shrinking space of autonomy of the universities.

However, there is no impact of either recommendations or concerns expressed by the academics and the practice of appointing IAS officials as the in-charge V-Cs continues to be the age-old practice since the time of united Andhra Pradesh. This is "despite substantial changes being brought in the laws governing the higher education and the role of the universities in other states," said a senior Professor of a state university, who is also one of the aspirants who applied for the post of V-C.

Speaking to The Hans India, another professor from the School of Law for a prominent State University in Telangana pointed out the initiatives by the neighbouring Maharashtra.

"It had appointed a committee under the chairmanships of Dr Arun Nigvekar, Dr Anil Kakodkar, Dr Takwale and Kumud Bansal to recommend about different aspects of higher education and learning and to suggest various measures to ensure the state universities have functional autonomy." It repealed the Maharashtra Universities Act of 1994 and enacted the Maharashtra Public Universities Act of 2016, which came into force on January 11, 2017. Accordingly, the new changes have sent a positive message of reduced government interference and preserving the functional autonomy of the State Universities.

"Now, unlike, the practice followed in the Telugu states, a V-C aspirant has to face a personal face-to-face interview with the Chancellor of the State universities, who is the State Governor," said another professor from Social Sciences from the Osmania University.

Besides, for example, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, has a Pro-Vice-Chancellor. "The Pro-VC position is predominantly followed in the Central Universities. It was adopted with the enactment of the new law.

This allows division of work. Secondly, it ensures that the university continues to be headed by an academician whenever there is a delay in the appointment of a V-C to a State University. This sends the right message about how the state government took initiatives to protect the autonomy of the universities,” he said.

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