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Jamia V-C under fire

delhi Updated: May 25, 2009 23:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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A three-member search committee formed to shortlist candidates for appointing the Vice -Chancellor of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University has started the process in Lucknow.

The serving V-C, noted historian Mushirul Hasan’s (60) term ends in June 2009.

The search committee, comprising Saghir Ahmed, former Supreme Court judge, Professor Yashpal, former chairman of the University Grants Commission, and Saiyid Hamid, chancellor, Jamia Hamdard University, however, has not yet taken a final call.

Jamia, the 84-year-old university at Okhla area in south Delhi, offers courses on arts, science, languages, engineering and a host of professional courses, among others.

However, it seems Mushirul Hasan’s tenure as the university’s Vice-Chancellor may end with a bitter note.

At least two issues that have been debated over internally are his handling of the appointments for the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC) and the newly set up dental institute and naming of the history department building after his father.

Sources in the university, who refused to be identified, said an HRD Ministry order issued on July 19, 2004 (a copy of which is with Hindustan Times) clearly asked “heads/chairmen of autonomous bodies to refrain from initiating any action to make selections/promotions two-three months before the expiry of their term or retirement”.

But Hasan, whose tenure would end in June this year, fixed meetings of the selection committees on April 8, 9 and 20 to finalise 22 appointments for the MCRC and the dental institute.

What’s more, the candidates for selection to the posts of readers and lecturers in MCRC were informed on April 7 evening — less than 24 hours before they were to appear for the meeting, making it almost impossible for outstation candidates to appear before the selection board.

Hasan, however, refuted the charges.

He told Hindustan Times over the phone: “We had informed the HRD ministry well in advance that because of certain urgency, we have to call the selection committee meeting in April itself.”

Asked what was the urgency, Hasan said, “Some posts in MCRC would have lapsed if we did not make appointments on time.” On the dental institute, he said, “The Dental Council of India was coming to inspect the institute. It’s a mandatory process before approval is granted. So, we had to make appointments.”

A Jamia teacher, who did not want to be quoted, asked, “Is it proper to name a building after his father during his (Hasan’s) own tenure?”

The university has named the history department building after his father, Mohibbul Hasan, who was a professor of history in Aligarh Muslim University.

Hasan said, “I have not named it myself. It’s the Academic Council which approved the decision three years back to name the building after my late father. The recommendation was made by the faculty of history department.”

But the sources pointed out that three years ago, Hasan was not only the Vice Chancellor of the university — his term started in June 2004 — he was also chairing the Academic Council which approved the naming of the department after his father.

“My father was one of the first professors to be appointed in Jamia Millia Islamia University in the 1960s. He was also the one who founded the university’s history department,” he said.