Extension of BU acting VC's tenure stirs up hornet's nest

Senate, Academic Council members seek governors clarification

Syndicate and the Academic Council members of Bangalore University have sought clarification from Governor H R Bhardwaj as to why the acting-Vice Chancellor Rangaswamy’s tenure was extended even though there was no provision for it under the Karnataka State Universities Act (KSU Act).

According to the KSU Act, when the post of the Vice-Chancellor is vacant, the senior most dean will take charge as the acting VC until further orders. Rangaswamy’s tenure as dean ended on December 21. Prof G Mohan Kumar from Psychology department was the senior most dean and was to take over as the acting VC.

The Syndicate and the Academic Council members alleged that a letter from the governor’s office directing extension of Rangaswamy’s term was issued after office hours on December 21. “The university should not be without a functioning head even for an hour.

Till the time the orders were issued from the governor and, after the closure of his term as dean, Rangaswamy (even though for a couple of hours) discharging his role as the acting VC was in violation of the university’s norm,” said Academic Council member Karan Kumar asking the acting VC to clarify the matter.

If Rangaswamy has signed any official documents during that time, it can be questioned in court, the members said. Moreover, Rangaswamy continuing in the post would be something unprecedented in the history of the university, they said.

“In a similar situation earlier, Prof Khaja Peer took charge as the VC for a day. There have been many other instances where people were in-charge for a month or two owing to the completion of their predecessor’s term. This extension of term is unprecedented and in violation of the rules,” said Syndicate member Jagadish Prasad.

The members demanded that the governor, who is also the Chancellor of the University and the rightful custodian of the Act, make public his intention in granting the extension. They added that, as opposed to what Rangaswamy has claimed, none of them want his term to be extended. Rangaswamy, on Saturday, had told the media that the Syndicate members had praised his effective functioning and hence, his tenure had been extended.

‘Remove R K Somashekar’

The members also sought action against Registrar (Evaluation) R K Somashekar whose name has figured in several irregularities in the university. It is alleged that Somashekar has swindled huge amount of money during his tenure as the Dean of Environmental Science department. “He has, under this designation, held private consultations, misappropriating money that was meant to be remitted to the university’s account,” Jagadish Prasad said.

Several blacklisted BEd colleges also got permission to conduct exams, and their results were announced after Somashekar took over as the registrar (evaluation), they alleged. Members also complained that Somashekar has appointed people of his choice to the Board of Examiners, even though it was brought to his notice that these lecturers were involved in corrupt practices.

Presently, three to four top posts, that of the VC, registrar (administration), finance officer, are vacant. The members said that government should immediately appoint eligible people to these posts.

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