Thirteen central universities across India are facing a severe leadership crisis. The trouble ranges from vice-chancellors facing probes, and public revolts from faculty and staff, to uncertainty over incoming new V-Cs, leaving a worried HRD ministry firefighting.
Senior HRD ministry officials are on Wednesday meeting Meghalaya Governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary in a bid to resolve opposition faced by the newly-appointed V-C of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), AN Rai, sources said.
But the concerns surrounding NEHU — demands made by locals in the university — are only representative of a larger crisis that is causing hassles with daily administrative decision-making at a dozen central universities, the sources said.
"When the team either has no leader or has little faith in him/her, the job becomes difficult," an official said.
Central probe teams are investigating allegations against the V-Cs of the Aligarh Muslim University and the Indira Gandhi National Open University who have also faced attacks from within the universities.
Students at AMU last week went on a hunger strike protesting against the administration headed by PK Abdul Azis, the V-C. IGNOU faculty association has on numerous occasions taken on vice-chancellor VN Rajasekharan Pillai.
Central teams have completed probes against Viswa Bharati V-C Rajat Kanta Ray and Nagaland University boss K Kannan. Probes confirmed some allegations against them. Viswa Bharati was repeatedly shut down over the past year because of protests against Ray.
The V-C of Rajiv Gandhi Arunachal University, KC Belliappa was beaten up by local youth earlier this year amid protests against his policies at the varsity.
The faculty association at Hyderebad University is almost daily taking on the V-C, Syed E Hasnain, questioning his decision to hand over part of the varsity's land to the Andhra Pradesh government for other projects.
Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya V-C Vibhuti Narain Rai has been accused of caste discrimination – a charge that led to the UGC's intervention. Rai also faced flak from HRD minister Kapil Sibal after he made derogatory remarks against women.