The list of frontrunners for the post of Jamia Millia Islamia’s vice-chancellor has met with disapproval from a section of the teaching community in New Delhi.
The nomination of three bureaucrats of the five names submitted by the search committee hasn’t been well received by some teachers who have written to the HRD ministry and the Visitor of the university (President Pratibha Patil) to register their disapproval.
A three-member search committee — comprising former University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson Professor Yashpal, Jamia Hamdard Chancellor Sayed Hamid and former Supreme Court judge Saghir Ahmad —had submitted a list of five names to the HRD Ministry on June 11.
The five people short listed include incumbent Mushirul Hasan, Bihar Home Secretary Afzal Amanullah, Faizan Ahmed, director of Jamia’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, Najib Jung, an officer of all India elite services and Mohd Shakeel Ahmed, Bihar’s State Information Commissioner.
A press release representing the collective voice of the 14 teachers states: “It is most unfortunate to note that only two central universities, namely, Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University are periodically saddled with bureaucrats as vice chancellors who have often tended to compromise academic excellence and institution building…It is simply unthinkable that Delhi University or Jawaharlal Nehru University would ever be burdened with a bureaucrat as a vice chancellor.”
“Before Mushirul Hasan, for about eight years Jamia had bureaucrats as Vice Chancellors. Lt Gen MA Zaki and Syed Shahid Mahdi were bureaucrats. During this time there wasn’t much academic development. Only an academician can understand the needs of an institution such as Jamia,” said Adil Mehdi, a lecturer in the English department, who has been with Jamai fro 20 years.