Bangalore University VC post vacant for 10 days, faculty & students up the ante
Environmental Sciences Professor told a news website, “This is the first time in the country’s history where a university has not had a vice-chancellor for 10 days.”
As the Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) post remains vacant for ten days now, over a hundred faculty members and representatives of students’ associations protested outside the varsity on Friday, demanding that an interim or permanent VC be appointed latest by Monday.
Protestors warned that all teaching, non-teaching staff as well as students’ associations will call a strike if action is not taken by Monday.
“This is the first time in the country’s history where a university has not had a vice-chancellor for 10 days. A university cannot function without a VC and by not appointing one, both the state government and governor are violating the Constitution,” Dr. Parameshwar Naik, Environmental Sciences professor at BU and coordinator of the Save Bangalore University Forum, a coalition of the protesters, told a news website.
According to a report last week, several members of the Bangalore University board had appealed to the Governor and the state government to supervise affairs of the varsity under the leadership of former VC Prof. K R Venugopal, after a division bench of the high court upheld a single-judge bench order quashing his appointment.
The members have reportedly asked the state government to cancel all decisions taken by Prof. Venugopal in the last four years, stating that several works on the campus require monitoring.
Dr. Naik also mentioned that the forum has approached both the state government and the governor’s office with the issue. “The government said the Governor’s office must make alternative arrangements for the proposal. But the Governor’s office said they are waiting on a proposal from the government to appoint a new VC,” he said.
They have also asked the government and the Governor to make alternative arrangements, which include the postponement of the annual convocation, scheduled for next month, and the university budget discussions, scheduled for March 25.
However, the cancellation of the annual convocation may hurt many students as several autonomous colleges affiliated to the University depend on it to issue degree certificates to its students, which takes an year after graduation to arrive. After the arrival of the coronavirus, the delay has stretched to over three years, affecting students while applying for jobs.
Prof. K R Venugopal had vacated his post as VC after the Karnataka HC dismissed four appeals last week which questioned the order of a single judge bench that had set aside the appointment of the VC. As the appointment was done by the Governor without the state government’s concurrence, reports said.