VC appointments in Maharashtra challenged in court

A faculty of the Central India Institute of Mass Communication, Nagpur, has filed a public interest litigation against the state government of Maharashtra urging the court to scan the recent vice-chancellors' appointments in Maharashtra. Sunil Mishra has pointed out that as oppose to the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 guidelines the state government amended the VC selection criteria in 2009. The concept of keeping a central body on the selection panel is completely removed. His petition is against the state government, the governor – who is chancellor of all state universities – and all newly-appointed vice-chancellors. “It is clear that the process of selection for appointment of a vice-chancellor is within the ambit of the University Grants Commission,” he said. Mishra stated that the state's new rule of selecting VCs “was done in contravention of UGC Act, 1956, by deleting a UGC nominee as per Section 7.4.0 (ii) intentionally and with total disregard to the power of the UGC and act of Parliament”. He said the selection of vice-chancellors used to be done with great care and circumspection, observed by search committees appointed by chancellors of universities. Later, the post was given to bureaucrats, judges and top-ranking police officers, he said. “This became alarming,” he said.