Messy VC appointment

Friday, 15 January 2021



Messy VC appointment

Swapnil Bharali | September 26, 2018 14:00 hrs

Whatever is happening at Gauhati University is not nice.
Period! It has never happened before and the unprecedented nature of the occurrences is akin to a touch of indigestion – a feeling that someone somewhere is tinkering around and compromising the quality of education dispensation of the apex institution. Yes, I am talking about the Court’s intervention in the matter of the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor post Dr Mridul Hazarika’s retirement on August 7 last.

Two factors demonstrate whatever is happening here is wrong. One is the fact that to my knowledge, Gauhati University has never had an incumbent VC stretching out his term post retirement.Customarily, once a VC has finished his term, the Rector or the senior-most professor of the University takes over during the interim period until a new VC is selected. Certainly, Dr Hazarika’s moment of retirement was in a blaze of glory: leading GU towards acquiring Grade A accreditation from NAAC. But any attempt to reinstate him or stretch his term would be something like a guest who overstays his welcome. If titbits received from reliable sources are to be believed, he allegedly happens to be an applicant and was ready to face an interview panel, but the Court intervened.

The other factor is the addition of an individual to the “Vice Chancellor Selection Committee” who doesn’t fit the norms of the University Grants Commission; there is allegedly a conflict of interest and so the Court had to step in. What these kind of moves do is arouse suspicions that the best candidate might not get the top job and somewhere there is some manipulation being insidiously perpetrated.

Let us be very clear about the role of the VC of Gauhati University. He is that entity upon whom the fate and future of this premier institution of the state’s highest learning depends. He is the intellectual and administrative stalwart whose strategies and vision have a profound impact on the quality of our state’s human resources. Today, the very fact that the Court has had to intervene with regard to the appointment of the Vice Chancellor smacks of a compromise in this holy process that is not acceptable.

One hopes those relevant powers-that-be understand the stark importance of not messing around with our premier institution.

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