11 Mar : The people of Jammu who struggled for months to get a Central University are in for a rude shock. Politics rather than academic strength or administrative acumen will decide the future VC of this prestigious University. Highly placed sources indicated that the likely panel to be submitted to the President within the next few
days will include a second-rate academic, a retired director and a superannuating bureaucrat from the UGC. All three candidates are backed by powerful political lobbies from within the state and the centre.
Prof Rajive Gupta, currently Director College Developmental Council and Professor of Chemistry at Jammu University has emerged as a front runner. Not because of academic work but because of his political connections. Prof Gupta’s career has progressed as lecturer and reader in a Jammu College and then as university Professor because of a
childhood friendship with a Union Minister hailing from the same part of Jammu Province. Gupta is also being backed by the powerful lobby of B.Ed colleges in Jammu because of the favours that he granted them by
increasing their seats and diluting all norms. With no academic standing and allegations of gross corruption, Gupta has managed to get the support of Dr Jain, chairperson of the Search Committee who is close to the “corridors of power”.
Dr Santokh Ram, who retired as Director Board of Professional examinations, a year ago, is being backed by the other lobby from within the congress Party of the State. He has also backers because he hails from an underprivileged section. With no creditable academic record, and having crossed 65 years it would only because of secondary
reasons that he would get the coveted job.
Dr Chauhan, the superannuating secretary of the UGC, whose record is far from exemplary is being backed by the Chairperson UGC . All three “academics” have never got a first class in their careers. Injustice has always been done to the Jammu cause. This is now the final nail in the coffin.