Selection of Pune University's vice-chancellor could be in limbo after the University Grants Commission (UGC) told to the Bombay high court that constitution of the search committee for the V-C's appointment was not in accordance with its relevant act, and hence cannot be termed valid.
Hearing a public interest petition (PIL) filed by activist Suresh Patil-Khede, the high court had asked for UGC's say in the matter. The UGC filed its affidavit to the court earlier this week where it said that it was binding for every university [in the country] to follow its regulations on appointment of a V-C.
In its affidavit, the UGC said that the search committee in question could not be termed valid. The statement put the selection and appointment of V-C of Pune V-C in jeopardy.
UGC regulation says that the search committee must have a commission (UGC) nominee, which the state government's three-member panel did not have. In Pune University's case, the committee has finalised five probables. The governor, who is the chancellor of the universities, will select one of them as a V-C. The HC has stayed the appointment till this case is decided.
Similar panels had selected V-C probables for other universities like Mumbai and Nagpur. Similar cases are being heard in the Mumbai and Nagpur benches of the Bombay high court. While the first petition challenges the appointment of the Mumbai V-C, the one before the Nagpur bench has challenged the appointment of all V-Cs appointed under the amended rule.