Item 2C-1: The proposal to amend the Statute 11-F (4) that currently makes the Vice Chancellor ineligible for a second term is being done so as to allow him eligible for the same. This amendment is unacceptable on the following counts:
Statute 11-F originates from the Act and therefore, amendment of this Statute has to be seen as amendment of the Act itself.
Clause 16: Subject to the provisions of this Act, the powers and duties of the Officers of the University, the terms for which they shall hold office and the filling of casual vacancies in such offices shall be provided for by the Statutes.
Clause 16 defines term of the Office of the Vice Chancellor through Statute 11-F and even defines the period for which the Visitor may extend the term of the VC.
All the Clauses of Statute 11-F have to be read together
Statute 11 F. (2) gives the composition of the Search Committee which suggests a panel of three names to the Visitor. The EC nominates two out of three members on the Search Committee which draws panel for the next VC. In practice, either the names for the Search Committee are suggested by the Vice Chancellor to the EC or the EC authorizes him to appoint members on the Search Committee.
The proposed amendment, if allowed to pass in isolation, will create an exceptional situation in the University where VC as Chairperson of the Executive Council will be instrumental in nominating majority members of the Search Committee for the appointment of the next VC while himself seeking a second term. Such an obvious conflict of interest is unacceptable.
This amendment is against accepted wisdom and the Government’s stated position as reflected in the Central Universities Act of 2009 for all new Central Universities wherein Clause 2.4 categorically states: “The Vice Chancellor shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office, or until he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier, and he shall not be eligible for re-appointment.” Further, as per press reports, the government has been forced to cancel second terms for VCs of 12 Central Universities.
There are 43 Central Universities. As per the Letter (D.O. No. F. 20-1/2010 –Desk.U) of the Joint Secretary, MHRD, only seven central universities have amended their Statutes to provide for the second term of the VC. The letter is only a suggestion.
The current provisions intend to provide an Academic Leadership to the University. If the proposed amendment is passed, it may lead to a situation wherein, a VC may hold office for twelve years. This is completely undesirable as it would go against the intent of the current provisions.
Abha Dev Habib