Search for University of Mysore vice-chancellor still elusive

Out of 78 aspirants 10 candidates were shortlisted

Former vice-chancellor of University of Mysore V G Talawar had vacated his official residence and drove to his chambers from his own residence on the last day of office on December 10, 2012. A professor in the Maharaja’s Evening college had ended his life a couple of days later writing a suicide note fed up with the corruption in the education sector and also in the appointments in the universities.

It is ironic that these two acts, one by a former vice-chancellor who set up an exemplary ethic of vacating the official residence and another ending his life because of the ills in the society has had no effect on the powers that be and the search for the vice-chancellor of one of the most prestigious universities in the country which is going to celebrate the centenary in another three years is still elusive.

It is regrettable that the process of the selection of the vice-chancellor is so mired in controversy and shrouded in mystery. “Why cannot the selection be transparent? Why there is so much of confusion and all kinds of reports appear in the media,” asks an aspirant for the same post.

The search committee headed by H P Kincha, former vice-chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University also had former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University N R Shetty, a University Grants Commission nominee, M S Thimmappa, another former vice-chancellor of Bangalore University, nominee from University of Mysore and G Thimmaiah from Indian Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC), nominee made by the Governor met on January 4 and after a marathon session lasting from 11 am to 6 pm, no consensus was arrived at because of a dissent note by one of the members.

According to sources there were 78 aspirants for the post of the vice-chancellor and 10 were shortlisted. Finally two lists were made. In one list the names of G K Karanth of ISEC, Mewa Singh, department of psychology, University of Mysore, and K S Rangappa, vice-chancellor Karnataka State Open University figured.

In the other list the names that figured were of N S Ashok Kumar, registrar (evaluation) Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, G K Karanth and Mewa Singh.

The sources said that among the 78 aspirants there were a few who were still in the age group of 50 to 55 and they were not considered. The committee goes by various guidelines like the number of papers presented at various fora, administrative skills, the important positions held to name a few to select the vice-chancellor.

The two names that came up finally were that of Ashok Kumar and Rangappa. Since there was a dissent note on Rangappa by Thimmappa, a decision was not taken, said the source.

Meanwhile, there is also a PIL filed against Shetty questioning his inclusion in the search committee by S Shekar, a member of Mysore Grahakara Parishat.

The academicians and the intellectuals are worried that a repeat of the 2008 will not happen, as the then Governor Rameshwar Thakur had disbanded the then search committee.

The sources said that the Governor H R Bhardwaj, who is returning on January 10, might ask the same committee to finalise the list once again and the search would end within a week.

However, the possibilities of the Bhardwaj disbanding the committee if he is not happy with the outcome and forming a new committee cannot be ruled out, said the sources.

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