Centre invites applications for new JNU V-C
An advertisement by the Union education ministry on Saturday said that the vice-chancellor, being the academic and administrative head of the institution, is expected to be a person possessing the highest level of competence, integrity, morals, and institutional commitment.Updated: Oct 28, 2020, 01:16 IST
With the tenure of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar coming to an end in January 2021, the Union government has initiated the process for choosing his successor.
An advertisement by the Union education ministry on Saturday said that the vice-chancellor, being the academic and administrative head of the institution, is expected to be a person possessing the highest level of competence, integrity, morals, and institutional commitment.
According to the advertisement, a distinguished academician with a minimum of 10 years’ of experience as professor in a University, or 10 years’ of experience in a reputed research or academic administrative organisation with proof of having demonstrated academic leadership, can apply for the post.
The tenure of Kumar, who came to JNU from the department of electrical engineering of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2016, has been marked by multiple protests and controversies.
Among them was a 2019 disagreement between the administration and its student and teacher unions over a hike in hostel fee that snowballed into a protest and led to demands for his removal. The protests went on for weeks, and could be quelled only after the education ministry stepped in and the hike was also rolled back.
In January this year, the varsity also saw a violent incident where masked persons armed with sticks and rods attacked students inside the campus. Many students received serious injuries. There were allegations that the police and the administration did not do enough to stop the perpetrators. Kumar, however, maintained that his administration had responded with urgency.
Kumar also made headlines when he suggested in 2017 that a battle tank be installed in the varsity, reportedly, to instil a love for the army. The request is yet to be fulfilled.
Vice-chancellor Kumar did not respond to calls and text messages requesting comment.
During Kumar’s tenure, the university opened several new departments, including a management and engineering school. It has drew up plans to contruct new buildings for these departments. But the moves were criticised because several faculty members and students feel it has come at the cost of preserving JNU’s liberal arts focus.
He was also blamed for alleged irregularities in appointments of faculty members.
Commenting on the developments, JNU Teachers’ Association president DK Lobiyal said, “The process should be transparent and someone with a good academic vision should be appointed. The appointment should be based purely on academics. The present V-C has already undermined the democratic processes of decision making in JNU.”
JNU students’ union vice-president Saket Moon said the selection process for the next V-C should be free of bias. “The vice-chancellor should be selected on the basis of her or his academic credentials and have the required experience to run a University like JNU. The present V-C lacks both the values,” he said.
According to the advertisement by the education ministry, the applicant for the post should not be more than 65 years of age. The post carries a monthly salary of ₹2,10,000, with Special Allowance of ₹11,250, and some other usual allowances.
Appointment will be made from a panel of names recommended by a Committee constituted under the provisions of Jawaharlal Nehru University Act, 1966, the advertisement said.
Apart from the JNU V-C, the education ministry has initiated the process of filling up several posts or finding replacements where the incumbent is set to complete his or her term soon.
One such post is that of the director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), with Hrushikesh Senapaty, the present director, completing his term later this year. The other prominent posts include director of National Bal Bhawan, vice chancellor of North Eastern Hill University, and director of Indian Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli.
As part of the regular process the ministry invites applications as and when is required, said a Union Education ministry official.