Vacancy at the top in several Bihar varsities
Several universities in Bihar have once again slipped under ad hoc arrangement at the top. There are at least five universities, which don’t have regular vice chancellors for months, while another will have vacancy in the next couple of months.
Aryabhatt Knowledge University (AKU), set up in 2010 to regulate all technical institutions by bringing them under one umbrella, has been without a regular VC since September 20, 2020, when the term of Arun Kumar Agarwal ended. Since then, AKU Pro-VC Syed Mohammad Karim has been holding the additional charge of VC by the order of Governor-cum-Chancellor Phagu Chouhan.
The Raj Bhawan had invited applications for the appointment of full-fledged VC at the AKU before the Assembly election, but the process is likely to be delayed. According to sources, the application might be invited afresh for the post of VC. The screening committee meeting was also cancelled. The term of the present P-VC is will also end in the next four months and that vacancy may also be advertised soon.
Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour is also set to slip under ad hoc arrangement after the term of its VC Dr Ajoy Kumar Singh ends on January 14. Dr Ravindra Kumar Sohane, director, extension education, BAU has been asked by the Chancellor to perform the duty of the VC in addition to his own duty from January 15 till further orders.
Two universities in Patna are also under additional charge. Following the resignation of Pataliputra University VC Gulab Chand Ram Jaiswal earlier this month, the additional charge was handed over to the Lalit Narayan Mithila University (LNMU), Darbhanga VC Surendra Pratap Singh. Pataliputra University does not have a Pro-VC.
In Nalanda Open University, BRA Bihar University (Muzaffarpur) VC Hanuman Prasad Pandey was handed over the additional charge following the resignation of former VC HN Prasad in November. Though NOU has a full-fledged P-VC, he was not given the charge.
In September last year, Purnea University VC Rajesh Singh had also resigned to assume his assignment as VC in Gorakhpur (UP), while the VC of TM Bhagalpur University, Neelima Gupta, did not join and ad hoc arrangement was later made there. TNB College (Bhagalpur) principal Sanjay Kumar Choudhary was made the acting VC in November, but only for carrying out routine matters.
He has been directed by the Chancellor not to take any policy decisions, including convening of meetings of selection committee or promotion committee, senate, syndicate or academic council meetings, process related to recruitment and matters having financial implications. TMBU has been under additional charge for nearly a year.
Munger University VC RK Verma has also been restrained from taking any policy decisions by the Raj Bhawan, as his tenure is also nearing end.
A senior official of the Raj Bhawan said that the applications had been invited for short listing the candidates through the search committee. “Some VCs have resigned, some have completed their terms while the term of one VC will end in a couple of months. The process is on for new incumbents,” he added.
Days ahead of Election Commission notification for Bihar assembly election, the Governor had appointed six vice chancellors and eight Pro-VCs in the state universities.
“Ad hocism is the bane of institutions of higher learning in Bihar and unfortunately it has become a pattern. It was after the Supreme Court intervention that the provision of search committee for appointment of VCs and P-VCs was made in the state, but the system is yet to properly evolve. Ad hocism at the top hampers the institutions,” said former head, department of economics, Prof NK Choudhary.
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