Rtd CJ of Chhattisgarh HC heads search committee for new MU-VC | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Rtd CJ of Chhattisgarh HC heads search committee for new MU-VC

Sep 30, 2022 12:45 AM IST

Mumbai: Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari appointed Yatindra Singh, retired chief justice of Chhattisgarh high court, as chairman of the search committee to select the next vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai (MU) on Thursday

Mumbai: Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari appointed Yatindra Singh, retired chief justice of Chhattisgarh high court, as chairman of the search committee to select the next vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai (MU) on Thursday. This comes two days after the state government withdrew the Maharashtra Public University Act 2021, and restored the governor’s power to appoint vice chancellors (VCs) of state universities.

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The appointment of a new VC has been in the works for nearly five months, after academic bodies at MU and the state government announced their respective nominations for the committee.

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Singh will be accompanied by professor Pramod Kumar Jain, director IIT (BHU) Varanasi and Anand Limaye, additional chief secretary (home), to elect the next VC for the varsity.

Koshiyari also announced names of chairpersons of the search committee to appoint VCs at Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, and Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University, Parsoda.

“The governor, in his capacity as the chancellor of state universities, has constituted search committees to find new VCs. Justice Yatindra Singh (retired) will chair the search committee for MU, whereas the Pune university’s search committee will be chaired by Justice Shubhro Kamal Mukherjee, former chief justice of Karnataka high court. The search committee for the Sanskrit university will be chaired by former chairman of union public service commission, Dr Pradeep Kumar Joshi,” read the statement released by Raj Bhavan.

Appointment of the chairman for MU VC’s search committee ends the long wait to find an appropriate candidate for the post. Former VC Suhas Pednekar retired from his post on September 10. D T Shirke, vice chancellor of Shivaji University, Kolhapur, has taken additional charge of MU-VC’s post for the next four months.

Maharashtra Public Universities Act, 2016, mandates a search committee, consisting of three members, to appoint a new vice-chancellor for a state university. It will be headed by a member nominated by the chancellor; a second nomination comes from the principal secretary of higher and technical education department or any officer not below the rank of principal secretary to the government, while the third and the third nominee is usually director or head of an institute or organisation of national repute, nominated by the university management and academic councils.

After its selection, this committee will invite applications, shortlist candidates, interview them and suggest five names to the chancellor, who will then select one name for the post of VC.

However, an amendment approved in December 2021 by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, headed by Uddhav Thackeray, to the existing rule had suggested minimising the role of the chancellor in selection of a VC for state universities.

In 2020, the state cabinet cleared amendments to the Maharashtra Public Universities Act, which impacted the process of hiring a new VC. Altering the selection method, the state suggested that names of five shortlisted nominees would be received by government, who will then send the name of only two nominees to the governor, who would choose the final name.

While this amendment was approved by the MVA government, it was pending final approval by the state governor since December 2021 and eventually withdrawn by the current Eknath Shinde-BJP government on Tuesday.

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