Dr. Avnish Jolly, New Delhi, 28th February, 2009 :Both Houses of Parliament passed the Central Universities Bill 2009 in the recent session. Of the 15 CUs, 12 are new while three have been upgraded from the state varsities.
Candidates were selected after a panel scrutinised the applications within a week of receiving the same. A total of 1,700 applications were received from all over the country. The appointments, said the government, were made on the recommendations of a search committee headed by planning commission member Balchandra Mungekar. There is just one woman in the centre’s list of VCs -Surabhi Banerjee for the University of Orissa.
In the northern region, noted academician Abdul Wahid, the VC of Kashmir University until a year ago, has been recalled as the first VC of the Central University of Jammu and Kashmir. DT Khathing has bagged the post in Jharkhand. Jairup Singh, current vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University has been appointed the VC of the University of Punjab, Prof RC Sobti, whose term as the VC of Panjab University is shortly ending has been chosen to head the central university of Himachal Pradesh and For Haryana University, the job has gone to Mool Chand Sharma, the current vice-chairman of UGC, considered close to Human Resource Development minister Arjun Singh, who wanted him to be UGC chairman. Sharma is reported to be ailing with cancer.
The central university of Rajasthan will be headed by MM Salunkhe, while Jancy George will do the job in Kerala. AM Pathan will be the first VC of the University of Karnataka and in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Bihar, the centre has appointed BP Sanjay, RK Kale and Janak Pandey, respectively, to head the new and ambitious central varsities.
The VCs for three state universities upgraded as central will be NS Gajbhiye for Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya, Sagar (Madhya Pradesh), SK Singh for Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna University in Uttarakhand and Lakshman Chaturvedi for Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya in Chhattisgarh.
With this announcement, the race for the next eligible candidate for the post of Vice-Chancellor once again gained momentum in Chandigarh. Sobti’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor is coming to an end in July. It is being learnt that once Prof Sobti gives up the charge, it would be Dean Students Instructions Prof SC Vaidya who would be the acting VC.