Splitting BU: Profs in race to don special officer role

Splitting BU: Profs in race to don special officer role

The post is important as the SO will become the new varsitys VC

Now that the State government appears determined to split Bangalore University (BU), a race has begun among varsity officials and other academicians to bag the post of special officer (SO), whose job will be to finalise modalities of bifurcation.

The race is significant as the SO automatically becomes the Vice-Chancellor of the new university.

Deccan Herald has learnt that at least five people, including three from BU, are in the race. Among them is the present Registrar (Administration), B C Mylarappa, who has emerged as a “strong” contender”. Others from BU are Somashekar R K, Chairperson, Department of Environmental Sciences, and Gayatri M C, Department of Botany. S B Hinchigeri, Registrar, Karnatak University, Dharwad, and J Madegowda, Professor of Commerce at Kuvempu University, Shimoga, are also in the fray.

Mylarappa confirmed that he was “very much interested”, but sounded sceptical of his chances. Instead, he said, others were “strong” aspirants.

Dr Somashekar is another “strong” candidate. So are Dr Hinchigeri and Prof Madegowda.
Although BU Vice-Chancellor, N Prabhu Dev, is still opposing the bifurcation plan, he might not have his way this time. A highly placed source in the Department of Higher Education said, “That stage has been crossed.” Still, the bifurcation process might not take off immediately and stumble upon many a hurdle.

The SO should have been appointed long ago. However, that was not to be. According to a source familiar with the development, the BU bifurcation issue was to come up in the two earlier meetings of the Cabinet, but it did not for some “inexplicable reasons”. “I too am surprised by the delay in SO’s appointment. It should have been over by now,” an official in the Department of Higher Education said, requesting anonymity.

Still, it might happen “any time soon,” the official added.

It is believed that Prabhu Dev is still trying to scuttle the plan. He was not available for comment. Sources close to the V-C insist that he is not opposing the bifurcation per se.

“The government should frame a policy on new universities. Instead of splitting BU’s resources and campuses, the new university should come up on an entirely new campus.

BU should cater to colleges in Bangalore. The new university should look after those in Bangalore Rural, Kolar, and Chikkaballapur districts. But please don’t give the Central College to the new university,” he said, preferring anonymity.

The SO, his responsibilities

* S/he should be eligible to become the V-C. Will be tasked with preparing the modalities of the bifurcation plan, and submitting a report to the government. Based on the report, the matter will be listed before the Cabinet that will take a decision.

* Draft the statutes for the new universities.

* Identify land and suggest ways to develop infrastructure for the new university.

* Divide colleges among the two universities.

* Prepare a report on employees to be deputed to the new university. Also, explain the need for hiring new staff.

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