The politics of VC Appointment

I fail to understand why this simple task of appointment of VC in this University always gets mired into high voltage political drama.

Dr. Syed Zahoor Ahmad Geelani
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 25 2018 1:33AM | Updated Date: Jun 25 2018 1:33AM
The politics of VC AppointmentFile Photo

Education is one of the most powerful weapons of any civilization and every human race is recognised by the type of education they possess. If we look at the present world order it is obviously Science and Technology integrated with Information and Communication Technology that play a vital role in shaping it.  It is only by virtue of this powerful weapon, today’s super powers are enjoying the control over human race in the world.

The Valley of Kashmir is not only famous for its scenic beauty but it has also been considered as quintessence of learning and the source of knowledge for whole Central Asia. People from all over world used to travel to this part of the world in order to quench their thirst for knowledge and spiritual enlightenment. Our valley is still considered the place of origin for many world famous scriptures, handicrafts, and other human art, but today we see the situation is not so good. The political unrest, which our valley has been witnessing from last many decades has made this part of the land one of the worst places to live in. In conflict situations all the activities of life get disturbed and education becomes the prime casualty. People are struggling for their life and other activities attain secondary importance. But the civilized societies who want to make the world to note their presence always use their wisdom to safeguard their education at any cost. 

At present we have almost 11 Universities located in different parts of the State. Out of them six are located in the valley itself and the oldest of all these universities is Kashmir University. Our knowledge society is also indebted to this Institution but unfortunately despite the state of art educational facilities available for higher education and research, some people are spotting the grey areas only and trying to create a notion that all is not well in Kashmir University. There is also this different opinion that we have produced world renowned educationists, scientists, philosophers, poets, artists and leaders in all faculties of life from this very institution. Unfortunately, we tend to undermine and criticise our own people despite the fact that we have produced capable and efficient human resource. This efficiency can be attributed to the fact that people living in colder climates have an edge over the others in possessing more haemoglobin thus extra intelligence.

Among many issues varsity is facing; on academic front, recently the adoption of semester system and implementation of Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) added miseries to this Institution and in fact a bad tag to the University. Another issue which obviously has dented the image of this prestigious issue concerns the appointment of new VC for the varsity. The matter has become such a high profile political issue. The post had to be re-advertised after screening of 60 applications and shortlisting/selection of people for the post. What so ever the reason for the quandary, we can just pray and hope that the new administrator be a man of high vision and wisdom, and be selected purely on the basis of merit.

World over people are encouraged and respected by their fellow citizens and it is their immediate community which recognises and appreciates them first but we are a different lot. We mostly bank upon people from outside and out of our uncanny impressionable nature, we easily get impressed by people from outside. We forget our own people and refuse to accept the fact that they can also run the institution in better manner. There is an old valuable proverb that only wearer knows best where the shoe pinches, but surprisingly in University of Kashmir some people think that only an outsider can manage the affairs of the varsity and in fact in other institutions like SKIMS, SKUAST, IUST and BOSE. 

All over India the State University VCs are appointed by the Higher Education Department of the concerned State. I fail to understand why this simple task of appointment of VC in this University always gets mired into high voltage political drama. I am of the opinion that only a visionary person with administrative qualities and research aptitude from the valley itself can handle the situation best and can transform this institution into a world class place of learning, innovation, research and collaboration. Recently the University of Kashmir attained this wonderful feat of getting 47th rank in NIRF ranking of the country, which clearly shows that the Institution is working in positive direction despite all odds. We bear witness to the fact that the same Institution has produced a number of world renowned legends in different fields of life. Previously, some of the sons of soil like Prof. Reyaz Panjabi. Prof. Qadri, and Prof. Wahid Qureshi had served as the VCs of this premier institute and contributed a lot in shaping the growth curve of this institution. As we are about to see a new VC for this Institution following things if paid some heed can make things much fair: 

i) No political influence to be involved in the whole selection process.

ii) Merit to be made the only criteria. 

iii) A person well versed with the system of higher education be given preference.

iv) A visionary person with deep sense of social responsibility be given the chance.

v) Spiritual and worldly wisdom should take the lead in deciding the fate of incumbent leader.


 The author teaches at Department of Teacher Education (School of Education) CUK






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