THE FOUR-STAR Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalya (DAVV) remained in the news throughout 2006 as never before but alas, all for the wrong reasons.
The most notable event that rocked DAVV and continues to plague is the post(ing) of a vice chancellor. The university being a temple of learning should have seen at best a battle of wits but was forced to see an unending battle for power between the V-C and Registrar.
The dispute ended with both been shown the door but the seed of conflict sown bore fruits and the appointment of the next V-C became a daunting task for Raj Bhawan.
In an extraordinary move, for the first time in the history of the State, the Chancellor had to disband the V-C Search Committee as consent could not be arrived at on any of the names forwarded.
The year saw former V-C Dr CS Chaddha firmly entrenched in his post after being appointed with full-fledged powers following his earlier temporary posting. Chaddha assuming near dictatorial powers suiting his temperament and IAS background, embarked on the daunting task of making DAVV comparable to any good University, say, in Punjab.
However, he ran into bad weather with the appointment of Registrar Dr Parikshit Singh and the from then on, the tussle between them over control of University funds to clash of egos made media headlines.
The ramification of the battle was such that it caused a war of attrition between the two constitutional heads of State namely, the Chancellor and Governor Dr Balram Jakhar and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
The fall out of this resulted in the end of supremacy of the closest confidant of Chaddha in the form of Rector Dr Sudhakar Bharti, with the Raj Bhawan concluding that the post itself was not sanctioned. Before Chaddha could emerge out of this rude jolt he was asked to tender resignation and Dr Singh was transferred by the Higher Education Department as per an understanding reached between Jakhar and Chauhan.
The university suddenly was left with no one in command and senior most Professor Dr Rajkamal was appointed as acting V-C and MK Tiwari was appointed as acting Registrar.
However, the race for the post of V-C had begun, leading to further mud slinging by the contenders to this post, while the academic environment suffered. Working under all sorts of pressure the V-C search committee sent a panel of names to the Chancellor for approval but on being subsequently found to have some or the other allegation attached were all rejected. Dr Jakhar has now formed a new search committee that will start functioning soon, while in the meantime Dr Rajkamal continues with the baton.
The tenure of Chaddha saw the Devi Ahilya Teachers Association (DEVTA) leaving work and coming out openly in his support and Dr Rajkamal is plagued by the Karmchari Sangh with the employees finding the disciplinarian ways aimed at improving academic efficiency in the University a little too much.
The usual rounds of protests and demonstrations with the two major political wings Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and National Students Union of India fighting over all kinds of issues including that of holding student body election through the direct method.
The elections, which were held reluctantly turned into a fiasco at the State’s biggest government college- GACC, where a near Sabharwal like attempt was avoided resulting in suspension of elections there.
Not being left behind students from various colleges including those of dental, Sanskrit and ayurved demonstrated time and again in the university. The matter of holding exams in both Sanskrit (‘prachya vishay’) and that of Acharya Gyan Ayurved College (holding up exams in other college) stands unresolved, while the protests of dental college students over poor results has almost become an annual feature.
The wrangle of B Ed colleges has become an albatross around the neck. After much confusion and delay the affiliation to three out of 23 B Ed colleges was not granted. The dissatisfied students from these colleges continue with their demonstration of being adjusted somewhere else.
But the year also saw some good things and the most important of them is that of resolving the shortage of teachers in the four major University Teaching Departments (UTD) offering self-financing courses, faced with the threat of de-recognition. A spate of construction activities including laying of four-lane concrete roads and new blocks along with one of the finest auditoriums will add immensely to the infrastructure. The university plans to introduce several new courses and is on its way of becoming paperless and more student friendly.