Ending months of suspense, JNU professor Amitabh Mattoo has declined to take over as vice-chancellor of Jammu’s Central University even after his name was cleared by the President of India.
The university is looking for its first vice-chancellor.
Mattoo talked to union human resources development minister Kapil Sibal on the phone on Thursday and conveyed his decision to him.
Mattoo was vice-chancellor, University of Jammu, from November 2002 to December 2008. He is the youngest person to serve in that position.
He is now with the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
“Mattoo talked to the HRD minister yesterday (Thursday) and declined to take over as the first vice-chancellor of CUJ,” an official source told HT, adding, “he expressed his desire that the sanctioned Central University for Jammu should be started without any delay as one crucial academic session had already gone waste since its announcement”.
Mattoo had been appointed CUJ vice-chancellor on December 21 last year. President Pratibha Patil cleared his name in her capacity as visitor of all central universities.
His appointment had been hanging fire for six months because there was a great deal of opposition from some Jammu-based political groups, which wanted someone from the region.
The HRD ministry approved the central university in 2008 but it has remained a non-starter due to the controversy over the appointment of vice-chancellor.
In the 2002-08 period, Mattoo served as member of the National Knowledge Commission, a high-level group that advised the Prime Minister.