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University of Mysore beckons centenary year VC

N Niranjan Nikam, Mysore, Nov 19, 2012, DHNS:

First VC H V Nanjundayya was selected by the Maharaja himself

The University of Mysore will be celebrating its centenary in the year 2016 on July 27. The one thought that is exercising the minds of the academicians, thinkers, intellectuals and those watching the university happenings closely is, who is going to be the 24th vice-chancellor when the sixth oldest university in the country turns 100.

The present vice-chancellor V G Talawar will be laying down office on December 10 this year. The aspirants for the post are many. However, no one wishes to be named for the fear of witch-hunting that they may face. Already a few aspirants are facing the heat.
“This sort of things never used to happen in the past.  

Now-a-days however, things have changed a lot for the worse. The moment people come to know that you are an aspirant they will dig up the past or foist various charges against you like the sexual harassment charge or the marks card charge, just to scuttle the chances of the person trying for the VC’s post,” said an aspirant speaking to Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity.

The first vice-chancellor of University of Mysore H V Nanjundayya was elected by the Maharaja of Mysore Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV during whose reign the university was founded. A contemporary of Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, Nanjundayya played a major role in the promotion of the university. He held the post until his death in 1920. The university became the first outside the domain of the English administration in India, the sixth university in India as a whole, and the first ever university in Karnataka.

“Those were the days when the vice-chancellors were hand picked by the Maharajas themselves. The quality a vice-chancellor requires is not to be just honest but also he should have wisdom and courage. Caste factor should never be an issue when selecting a vice-chancellor. After all they will be heading temples of learning,” said another aspirant to this newspaper.

Panel

There are four search panelists to select the vice-chancellor out of which two have already been appointed. One is the University of Mysore nominee, former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University Thimappa and the other is the University Grants Commission nominee N R Shetty. The two other nominees, one the governor’s nominee and the other the state government’s nominee is still to be appointed.

In fact, the race for the vice-chancellor’s post is so intense that the aspirants are willing to try in any university in Karnataka where the post will lie open soon. The post for the Bangalore University is already lying vacant, while the ones in University of Mysore and the Karnataka State Open University will be free on December 10, 2012. However, the KSOU vice-chancellor still will have another year to go if he gets an extension.
The other universities where the post will lie vacant include Tumkur, Gulbarga and
Davangere.

A professor from Bangalore University who wished to remain anonymous told Deccan Herald, “I am no doubt an aspirant. But I do not have money power to vie for the post. If
I am selected based on merit, I will definitely take it up.”

Some of the vice-chancellors who have led the University of Mysore have been giants like Brajendra Nath Seal (1921-1928), E P Metcalfe, (1930-1937), K V Puttappa (1956-1960).
“It is very difficult to predict how the vice-chancellor will perform during his tenure. Whom we think will be very good, might perform very badly and on whom we do not have any expectation at all might turn out to be winner,” said academician V K Nataraj.

“Why should we not have an open debate among all the aspirants in the Raj Bhavan. He or she should be ready to answer any questions asked by experts and let the best one among them be selected,” said another aspirant.

Will we regain the glory of the vice-chancellor’s reign at least when the university celebrates its hundredth year. Only time will tell.


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