“Yes, the tenure of incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof Manoj Dhar has ended, but the Act is very clear that the incumbent Vice Chancellor will continue until new Vice Chancellor will join”
Despite the end of tenure of incumbent Vice Chancellor of Jammu University-Prof Manoj Dhar, the office of Lieutenant Governor, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir reportedly appears little interested in appointing new Vice Chancellor.
In absence of any action from the office of LG, the incumbent Vice Chancellor is enjoying extension in the office without any official order.
Talking to The Typewriter, a senior official of the Jammu University, wishing anonymity revealed that the term of incumbent Vice Chancellor has ended, but he continues to retain the office, because the LG office has not taken any steps to appoint a new Vice Chancellor.
“Prof Manoj Dhar has retained his office despite the end of his tenure. The office of Lieutenant Governor has not started any process of appointing new Vice Chancellor, nor it has issued any order for extension of incumbent vice chancellor of the Jammu University,” said the official.
In the month of March this year, speculations were rife that the search for a new Vice-Chancellor in Jammu University has gathered momentum after Lieutenant Governor in an ‘impulsive move’ reduced the tenure of the Vice Chancellor-Prof Manoj Dhar from five years to three years.
Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat clarified that the tenure of the Vice Chancellor, Jammu University shall be three years.
A letter issued by the office of the Lieutenant Governor’s Secretariat, Jammu and Kashmir Raj Bhavan, Jammu with subject Terms and conditions of appointment of Prof Manoj Dhar as Vice Chancellor of University of Jammu states that in terms of section 12(5) and 12 (6) of Kashmir and Jammu Universities Act, 1969, the Chancellor, University of Jammu (Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, J&K) has been pleased to order the following terms and conditions of appointment of Prof. Manoj Dhar, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu, appointed vide this Secretariat order No. GS-3(Appt-VC)/JU/2018/5228 dated 23-07-2018.
As per order, issued by Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor, Nitishwar Kumar, tenure of the appointment shall be for three years (if the Vice Chancellor wishes to resign before the end of his tenure, he shall give a notice of 3 months or pay three months salary in lieu thereof).
Senior official of the Jammu University stated that the tenure of Prof Manoj Dhar was for five years, starting from July 2018, but due to unknown reasons, it was abruptly reduced to three years that too just a couple of months before the end of term.
“The Jammu University (JU) management had earlier decided to intimate the Raj Bhawan to notify the search committee in this regard but due to political interference it was thwarted,” said official, adding that the same has not yet started again and it appears the LG office is not in a mood to do the same.
He, however, asserted that there are some crucial factors that need to be addressed. “Getting the right person for the position is never easy. Acts and statutes that govern appointment of VC vary from one university to another. There are many factors that go into identifying the right persons to the key position in university,” he added.
A senior Professor of Jammu University, wishing not to be named, said that heads of the state are the ones who determine the actual choice of Vice-Chancellors, based on merit. “It therefore becomes imperative that they desist from appointing VCs on the basis of political affiliation, but Jammu University has been plagued with the nepotism and favoritism in case of appointment of Vice Chancellor,” said senior professor, adding that not starting process of engaging new Vice Chancellor makes it clear that politics is playing its role.
He stated that despite the cut short of tenure of the Vice Chancellor from five years to three years, the incumbent Vice Chancellor is still continuing in office speaks volumes about political interference in educational institutions.
When contacted, Registrar, University of Jammu, Arvind Jasrotia said that the tenure of Vice Chancellor has ended.
“Yes, the tenure of incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof Manoj Dhar has ended, but the act is very clear that the incumbent Vice Chancellor will continue until new Vice Chancellor will join,” Jasrotia said and added that although there are no formal orders for the extension as of now and it can be issued anytime soon.