Reliving the year 2009, the HRD ministry is going to appoint the vice-chancellors for 12 central universities, a few months before the election. The current VCs at those universities are going to demit office in March 2014. The ministry has decided to liven up the mooted system of common advertisement for seeking applications for the VC posts, which it adopted in the last general election year 2009.
In 2009, VCs for 15 newly-created central universities were appointed through a common advertisement. In an exceptional move by the then HRD minister, Arjun Singh, one search-cum-selection ad-hoc committee was created to shortlist a panel of three names for each university. Appointment letters were issued just a day before the announcement of the Lok Sabha election schedule.
The ministry has now decided to repeat its earlier act.
The idea of common advertisement was mooted following the disagreement that it would be difficult, rather illegal to get new V-Cs for different universities through a single search committee. Then it was pointed out that each of the new central universities would have their own search committee that would send the suitable nominations for the post of VCs, said a source.
Following this, no common advertisement method was used in post-2009 so far. Not even at the time of appointing VCs for Delhi University, JNU and other central universities. But, now it’s back.
The advertisement, which will appear in a few days, will ask candidates to apply online and give their preference of universities which they would like to be considered for. One candidate can give preference for four-five universities. It will help the ministry shorten the process.
Otherwise, the ministry would go for a list of 100-150 top academicians from its own pool for consideration as well as will ask eminent educationists to suggest appropriate names, but this could be cumbersome process and would take months. Therefore, the common online application method has been suggested; this will help ministry to complete the process in stipulated time frame, said a ministry official.
The Central Universities for which new Vice-chancellors have to be appointed are Central University of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Srinagar. Besides them, three state universities which were upgraded to central university in 2009 — Hari Singh Gour University, Madhya Pradesh; Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Uttarakhand and Guru Ghasidas University, Chhattisgarh - will also get new VCs during this common advertisement appointment drive.