Friday, March 8, 2013


Karnataka Education Rot: Keeping Mum is Safe for Chancellor and Pro Chancellor.

U B Ashok Kumar, Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology in an Evening College at Mysore committed suicide and the suicide note he left says that he was fed up with the system that is full of corruption and caste biased and in particular referred to the corrupt practice in the appointment of Vice Chancellor to Universities. Uday Singh, the Chancellor nominee in the Syndicate in the University at Davangere, resigns from his membership being disgusted with the corruption prevailing in the appointment of Vice Chancellors. Chancellor, who is invariably the Governor of the State, appoints Vice Chancellors with the concurrence of the State Government, out of the panel of three names submitted by a Search Committee.   Yet, although both the incidences stated above concerns directly the Chancellor, there is no response from Chancellor or the Pro chancellor(Minister of Higher Education) - no regrets, no commission of enquiry, no remedial measure coming from them.

 The Chancellor has appointed a Vice Chancellor without even a valid panel of three names from the Search Committee as per the KSU Act. What is worse, he appoints a person as Vice Chancellor from out of that invalid panel against whom there was a dissent note by one of the Search committee Member on the grounds that a case is pending against that nominee in the High Court alleging serious malpractices/crimes committed by him. What is more, the Chancellor has no minimum courtesy and decorum of his office to offer reason for rejecting the dissent note given by a Search Committee Member. It is beholden on the Chancellor to reject the Search Committee's list of names when it is not in accordance with the Act and ask for a second panel from the Committee which would be in accordance with the Act. Instead, Chancellor arrogates himself the power that is not vested with him by the Law, picks up a name from the Search Committee List against whom a dissent note was there, and appoints the same person as Vice Chancellor without offering any reason for rejecting the dissent note in his noting. In fact, his noting written from his own handwriting as well as the proceedings of that Search Committee including the dissent note was widely published by the Media. There was absolutely no response either by the Chancellor or the Pro Chancellor even on this case.

The urgent need is to initiate enquiry on the above charges of corruption, irregularities and illegalities and take appropriate action on the result of enquiry before the persons concerned relinquish their office, and stem the rot setting in Higher Education allegedly by the highest authority. As the highest authorities are unlikely to institute inquiry against themselves, the President of India must intervene to do so with a Supreme Court Judge as the Head of Inquiry. Besides, a permanent Ombudsman (as Lokayukta is too burdened by its load) to enquire  and punish cases of corruption in the Universities in Karnataka including in the appointment of Vice Chancellors.

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