Thanks to the open door policy of the TRS government in Telangana in appointment of university vice-chancellors (VCs), dozens of retired High Court judges, bureaucrats and scientists have applied for the academic posts. As many as 1,289 applications from veterans belonging to different backgrounds have come for the VC posts in nine state universities.
In a recent policy change, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has allowed eminent persons from different professional backgrounds to apply for the VC posts with a tenure of three years to nine state universities. Earlier, only those from an academic background with a doctorate and 10 years of experience in teaching were considered for the posts.
As there has been criticism that the VC posts in state universities have become shelter for outdated academicians and people with administrative inefficiency and poor talent, the Chief Minister has decided to give a chance to all those who want to try their hands at running a university. Of course, a PhD and five years of teaching is preferred.
At one stage, KCR himself wanted to be the chancellor of all the nine state universities and appoint the VCs as per his choice. But, as the Union Ministry for Human Resources Development (MHRD) raised some legal and technical issues with the idea of the CM replacing the Governor as the chancellor of the state universities, KCR dropped the idea. But he is keen on appointing a chancellor to each university.
Liberalisation of the VCs’ appointment process has created commotion in academic circles, but has generated enthusiasm among the non-academicians.
As a result, dozens of scientists from all over the country, retired judges of High Courts and retired IAS and IPS officers sent in their CVs to the Telanana State Council for Higher Education (TSCHE) by the expiry of last date on 8 January.
At least 100 of them have applied for more than one university and 15 of them have applied for all the nine universities. A senior scientist with DRDO based in Hyderabad, two top former heads of CCMB, also from Hyderabad, three retired judges of AP High Court and a retired judge of Delhi High Court and 15 retired IAS officers and eight former IPS officers are in the race for VC posts, sources said.
182 applications each were received for Dr B.R. Ambedkar Open University, one of the oldest distance learning universities set up in 1983, and Mahatma Gandhi University, followed by Palamur University (176), Satavahana University (167), Telangana University (162), Osmania University (145), Kakatiya University (128), JN Technical University (84) and Telugu University (48).