Friday, June 27, 2014

Bharadwaj Brandish Bow Out at last.

Chancellor of Universities, Governor of Karnataka, Hans Raj Bharadwaj's penchant for infamy appears to be congenital as it is impervious to amelioration in spite of public protest and legal nuances to amend himself. He flouted established norms, conventions and laws with alacrity, especially in the appointment of  Vice Chancellors to Universities, and got away with it thanks to flaws in our political and legal systems on the one hand and on the lack of concern for probity in public life on the part of powers that be. Bharadwaj promoted and nurtured mediocrity and people with allegation of committing criminal acts were appointed as leaders in the institutions of higher learning.

For instance, a person facing trial in the High Court on charges of criminal acts was appointed as Vice Chancellor in spite of the dissent note by a member of the Search Committee bringing the issue to his notice.  He could have considered the other members in the Panel who do not have any such charges. He also did not take the concurrence of the Government in this case  as required by Law/KSU Act while appointing the candidate for Vice Chancellorship and the Government did a meek submission to his misadventure without asserting its right.

In another instance, a person with mediocre academic achievement and who misrepresented his academic credential to the Search Committee was appointed as Vice Chancellor. Matter went to the High Court, the Court appeared to be convinced of the malafide act but further action was prevented by the intervention of the Chancellor to rescue the Vice Chancellor by stating that he would conduct yet another inquiry and take appropriate action on its finding. After inordinate delay, the one man Committee of a person handpicked by Chancellor himself gets Vice Chancellor exonerated of the charges by a misapplication of the Act, taking recourse to a flimsy and innocuous technical reason that the Examination Regulation in practice since several years has not obtained Chancellor's assent although it has been approved by all the Bodies within the University such as Academic Council and Syndicate!. The same Vice Chancellor was given one more year of extension after the completion of his first term and who is now, after completing his extended one year term, again appointed for the second term of two years. What extraordinary merit in him that made Bharadwaj appoint him yet again. In fact, the candidate's name should not have figured in the panel of names recommended by the Search Committee, but the Committee was constituted in such away to favour incumbent person: Committee consisted of a member who was a Principal of a Engineering College in the same region and facing criminal charges, another member is in a subordinate position in the incumbent University ( KSU Act mandates that member should not be connected to University, the VTU Act is silent on it which was taken advantage of ), and to cap it all the Government nominee, did not attend the meeting as he wanted a reschedule of the meeting which was not acceded to.

Tainted persons must be avoided while offering the highest post in the University as there are many available who are not only have no taint in their career but also better qualified.

Further, in yet another instance, Bharadwaj  flouted healthy conventions and norms while nominating members to the Search Committee to recommend panel of names to the appointment of Vice Chancellors. Invariably, retired Vice Chancellors and those who are not connected to the University  are nominated as, otherwise, if any working Vice Chancellor of the University in the State is nominated he would have contact with the aspirants and hence would likely to be biased. Bharadwaj has put once not only a working Vice Chancellor from the State of Karnataka but even, in other instances,  junior most Vice Chancellor from the same State in the Committee.

Bharadwaj always presented himself a persona in public as an upholder of higher values, tradition and philosophy of our country, but his deeds are to the contrary and hence his public speeches appear to be cover ups to his misdeeds of the nature stated above.

Government of the day has become a silent spectator to Governor's doings, in spite of having a comfortable majority on its own, it is unable to discipline the errant Chancellor, which reflects the rot that has set in in Governance and the meekness of the ruler in it.

At last, now, the viciously audacious era of Bharadwaj ends. Hope he will not be offered any opportunity further where his possible congenital defect would surface and sully the noble cause of our democratic institutions. Or, we hope, at least now, there is a change of heart with Bharadwaj and henceforth he would dedicate himself to uphold the higher values in public life by supporting and nurturing men of integrity to the leadership of our institutions, and atone his past sins, if at all he gets yet another chance to serve the Nation.

I hope better days - achche din - will come to the Chancellor Office in Karnataka.