Professor Raj Kumar appointed Panjab University’s 13th vice-chancellor
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Professor Raj Kumar appointed Panjab University’s 13th vice-chancellor

The announcement for the 13th V-C of PU was made four days after the three-member selection committee interacted with the candidates.

punjab Updated: Jul 22, 2018 12:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Professor Raj Kumar,Panjab University,vice-chancellor
Professor Raj Kumar(HT Photo)

Raj Kumar, 58, a professor at the Institute of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), has been appointed as the new vice-chancellor (V-C) of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Talking to HT, Prof Kumar said, “I am ecstatic to be appointed as the V-C of Panjab University. My interview had gone well.”

He said he will join PU after taking care of formalities at BHU. Till he joins, the dean of university instruction (DUI), Shankarji Jha, will be officiating as V-C.

The term of the appointment will be three years with effect from July 23, 2018, or from the date he assumes charge as V-C. The announcement for the 13th V-C of PU was made four days after the three-member selection committee interacted with the candidates.

The selection committee, comprising M Ramachandran, chancellor, JCFAI University, Dehradun; Kapil Kapoor, chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla; and M Jagadeesh Kumar, V-C, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, was formed by the Vice-President and PU chancellor M Venkaiah Naidu on June 27.

Of the 10 candidates called for an interaction from a total of 169 shortlisted people, the committee had presented three names to Naidu. This was the first time PU advertised the V-C’s post in its history.

The appointment has been made by the Vice-President by exercising powers conferred by Section 10 of the Panjab University Act, 1947.

Specialty in insurance, capital market

Hailing from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Banaras, Prof Kumar is a PhD and D Litt in management. With a 35-year teaching and research experience, he specialises in insurance, capital market and entrepreneurship. His key interests are human values and ethics, and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Presently the director, dean and head of the Institute of Management Studies at BHU, Prof Kumar has authored nine books and published more than 130 research papers.

He is also an executive member of the All-India Commerce Association and life member of the All-India Accounting Association, apart from holding various academic positions.

Grover’s term ends today

Incumbent V-C Arun K Grover’s term ends on Sunday, after completing six years as the V-C of PU since July 23, 2012.

In these six years, Grover quite successfully worked to pull the university out of its deep financial crunch, bringing the revenue deficit down from ₹279 crore in 2015 to ₹29 lakh three years later.

However, he remained embroiled in controversies for taking the financial and governance matters of PU to court.

One of his pioneer achievements is his work on setting up the Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge and Cluster (CRIKC), also acknowledged by the principal scientific adviser to central government VijayRaghavan.

He will continue to be involved with CRIKC even after retirement, besides working with various educational institutes of Chandigarh.

Key challenges for the new V-C

Financial crunch

The university is reeling under financial crunch, not having enough funds to even recruit more faculty or amplify research. In the last Board of Finance meeting, the estimated budget for 2017-18 had a deficit of ₹29 lakh.

Governance reforms

The Panjab University Teachers’ Association has been pushing for governance reforms at the university since 2015, that were also taken up by previous V-C Arun Kumar Grover in court. A recent report on governance reforms by a panel suggested decreasing the number of Senators by half among other reforms. The matter is in the Syndicate.

Faculty shortage

Several departments in the varsity are making do with less than 50% of regular faculty out of the total sanctioned posts. One of the main reasons of lack of staff is financial crunch. Some of the old departments of PU are functioning with only one professor.

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 22:16 IST