With the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) returning the names of two candidates recommended by the human resources development ministry, it looks like the appointment of the UGC chairman will take a while longer.
Sources said the PMO returned the two names, asking the HRD ministry to disclose the merits of the candidates. The names were sent to the PMO in February-end.
A three-member selection committee, which met on February 21, had shortlisted professor Pankaj Chandra, director of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and former Hyderabad University vice-chancellor Dr Syed Hasnain for the UGC chairman’s post.
Within a fortnight, the ministry is likely to call a meeting of the selection committee again to decide who stands first and second in the merit list.
The names, with their seniority in merit, will be re-sent to the PMO, after which a final decision is likely to be taken. The whole process may take more than a month.
When contacted, Hasnain said he had given a presentation before the selection committee around two months ago. “I have not heard from them since then.”
In an unusual move, the department of science and technology has sought a fifth extension for its secretary, Dr T Ramasami.
A proposal has been sent to the department for personnel and training, seeking the approval of the cabinet's appointments committee.
Ramasami has already got four extensions, something that is considered rare at his level in the central government.