Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma on Tuesday denied that there was any move by the state government to reduce the retirement age for vice-chancellors of the state universities.This was stated by Sharma while talking to Hindustan Times here.
Asked whether the government plans to remove the V-Cs of state universities to accommodate its own people, he said that it would appoint its nominees only after the completion of the fixed tenure of each V-C.
There are over a dozen state universities in Haryana, whose V-Cs had been appointed during the tenure of previous Congress government.
The Congress regime had increased the retiring age of V-Cs in phases from 65 to 68 years to "accommodate" its favourite academicians. Notably, as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms, the retiring age of a V-C is 70.
After the BJP cane to power in Haryana, there was a move to reduce the retiring age of V-Cs from 68 to 65 so that some of the ruling party's own persons could be accommodated in the universities where the V-Cs happened to be in the age group of 65 to 68.
However, the move received opposition and there were indications that it might be challenged in the Punjab and Haryana high court as the appointment letters issued to such persons by the Haryana governor, in the capacity of the chancellor of the state universities, specifically mentioned their term as three years or on attaining the age of 68, whichever is earlier.
A V-C of a state university, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that though the UGC guidelines have specified 70 as the retiring age for V-Cs, a state government can fix the age for a 'competent' incumbent as per its choice. Few states, including Punjab, have V-Cs above the age of 70, he added.