After the Congress government issued a notification for filling two posts of members in Himachal Pradesh Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Commission, hectic lobbying has begun for the post.
While April 30 is the last date for receiving applications, as many as 10 persons have already applied at the education department for the post.
Prominent applicants included retired district and sessions judge BL Soni, while names of former adviser, education, Anita Rao is also doing the rounds. Rao is a close relative of former excise and taxation minister Rangila Ram Rao, who lost the elections this time.
Speculations are rife that a section of Congress leaders are backing the name of Sunil Kumar Sharma, district Congress committee chief, Hamirpur. Sharma is a close aide of Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu.
Others who have applied include Kulbushan Sharma from Hamirpur, Jitender Kumar from Sarkhaghat and Satya Vrat Bhardwaj, head of biotechnology department in Dr YS Parmar University of Forestry and Horticulture, Nauni.
The names of Capt B Chand from Shimla, Manish Verma from Noida and Santosh Kumar from Chopal also figure in the list of applicants.
The Educational Institution Regulatory Commission had invited applications for two members of the commission in the first week of this month. The advertisement had mentioned that persons of eminence in public life or from the field of higher education were eligible for the post.
There is likelihood that more persons are likely to apply before the last date.
The government had decided to strengthen the regulatory commission as there has been much hue and cry about the functioning of private universities in the state. The commission was set up in 2010 when the functioning of private universities in the state had come under severe criticism from political parties.
The Prem Kumar Dhumal-led BJP government had appointed former additional chief secretary Sarojini Thakur as its chairperson, while Manoj Chauhan is the member secretary.
It was during the BJP regime that a post of single member had been created. Former registrar of Himachal Pradesh University Jagat Bushan Nadda was appointed as the lone member. Nadda is the brother of BJP national general secretary JP Nadda.
The commission had been given a mandate to provide regulatory mechanism in the state and for working as an interface between the state government and central regulatory bodies.
Besides, the commission was set up to ensure appropriate standards of admission, teaching, examination and research and for protecting the interest of students in private institutions.