Higher Education

Delay in Jammu varsity chief’s appointment rocks assembly

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The delay in the appointment of a vice chancellor at the central university here rocked the Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Friday with legislators from Jammu alleging the government was displaying “sheer indifference” on the issue. Jammu Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) legislator Harshdev Singh alleged there was a “great deal of non-seriousness on the part of the state government that has led to the delay in the appointment of the vice chancellor of Central University, Jammu”. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jammu State Morcha legislators alleged the state government was playing hide and seek over the issue and the delay was causing huge academic loss to students and those aspiring to enroll themselves in the varsity. “How come all other central universities across the country have become functional and Jammu's central university is yet to get off the ground in the absence of the appointment of a vice chancellor,” he asked. To press their point for early appointment of a vice chancellor, opposition members belonging to the BJP, JKNPP and Jammu State Morcha staged a walk out. Minister for Higher Education Abdul Gani Malik said “certain forces were causing hurdles in the appointment of the vice chancellor”. He did not elaborate on the forces or their objective. The centre had appointed Amitabh Mattoo as vice chancellor of the central university in December last year, but he declined to join the post. He had cited “personal reasons” for declining the offer in his letter to Union Human Resource Minister Kapil Sibal. Some Jammu-based groups had been opposed to the appointment of a non-Jammuite as vice chancellor of Central University. They had targeted Mattoo in particular and opposed his appointment.

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