Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a Search Committee to draw a panel of names for the appointment of Vice Chancellor (VC) for Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology (SKUAST)-Jammu.
As per the order, issued by the Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Production Department (APD) Atal Dulloo, the Search Committee has been constituted in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section (1) of Section 25 of the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Act, 1982.
“Sanction is hereby accorded to the constitution of a Selection Committee for drawing up a panel of names for appointment to the post of VC of SKUAST-Jammu within a period of three months,” the order reads.
As per the order, the committee comprises of Director General Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) as its Convener, Chairman University Grants Commission (UGC) or his nominee while Additional Chief Secretary Agriculture Production Department J&K Atal Dulloo, Deputy Director General International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Add Tropics (ICRISAT), Telangana Dr. Arvind Kumar are its members.
“Registrar, SKUAST-J shall provide secretarial assistance to the committee with regular updates on the progress to the administrative department for the kind perusal of the Chancellor,” the order reads.
Notably, the Search Committee has been constituted after the incumbent VC SKUAST-Jammu Prof J P Sharma attained 65 years of age.
Prof. Sharma was appointed as VC SKUAST Jammu in June 2020 and prior to that he served as Joint Director (Ext.) ICAR, New Delhi.
Prof. Sharma was appointed as VC SKUAST-Jammu under section 25(1) of the University-1982, for three years “or until he attains the age of 65 years.”
While Prof Sharma has demitted the office, the Government has appointed VC SKUAST Kashmir Prof. (Dr.) Nazir Ahmad Ganai to look after (in-charge) VC SKUAST -Jammu.
The order to this effect was issued by Additional Chief Secretary APD Atal Dulloo.
“Consequent upon the completion of the tenure of Dr. J P Sharma as Vice Chancellor, SKUAST Jammu on January 14, Dr. Nazir Ahmad Ganai, VC SKUAST- Kashmir shall hold the charge of the post of Vice Chancellor, SKUAST Jammu in addition to his own duties,” reads the government order.
As per the order the VC SKUAST Kashmir will hold the charge of VC SKUAST Jammu till the Selection Committee draws a final panel for appointment of a suitable candidate against the post.
Meanwhile, the academicians have expressed the concern over the decision saying that the charge of SKUAST-Jammu should have been given to any eligible professor or VC of other University within Jammu division.
“It will not be humanly possible for VC SKUAST-Kashmir to manage the charges of both the Universities simultaneously. The arrangement should have been made within Jammu,” a SKUAST-Professor said wishing not to be named.
“We have nothing against VC SKUAST-K but giving charge to someone within Jammu would help in running the institution smoothly,” he said.
Meanwhile, a top official in APD said the decision has been already taken by the government and will continue till a permanent VC is appointed for SKUAST-Jammu.