Mysuru, Oct 24 : The search for a Vice-Chancellor for the University of Mysore is expected to be further delayed by the decision of eminent scientist C N R Rao to withdraw from the four-member search committee constituted for the purpose.
The post has remained vacant since J Shashidhar Prasad demitted office in October 2007. Though Prof Rao has not mentioned any reason for his decision in a letter to the Government, there is speculation that he felt that he was overlooked for the post of the Chairman of the committee. The four-member committee is headed by the former Vice-Chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) Balaveera Reddy, who is the Government's nominee.
Apart from Prof. Rao, who is the nominee of Governor and Chancellor Rameshwar Thakur, the committee comprises the former Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University M.S. Thimmappa, nominated by the Mysore University Syndicate, and Vice-Chancellor of Patna University Shamlal, nominated by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
"Given his stature and standing in the scientific community, Prof. Rao"s well-wishers had brought it to the notice of the Government that it would not be ideal for him to be part of the committee as just a member," a source said. According to convention, the Government"s nominee becomes chairman of the search committees constituted to choose a Vice-Chancellor.
As the Karnataka State Universities (KSU) Act, 2000 does not expressly state that the Government"s nominee should become the chairman of such committees, Prof. Rao"s well-wishers had tried to reason with the Government to make a departure from the convention this time. The Act states that the Government shall appoint one of the members as chairman of committee. But when the Government showed no indication of deviating from the conventional path, Prof. Rao decided to withdraw from the committee, the source said.
The committee headed by Dr. Reddy, which is yet to hold its first meeting, is the second search committee constituted for the purpose.
The earlier committee headed by the former Vice-Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University for Health Sciences Chandrashekar Shetty was dissolved after the Governor rejected all the three names recommended by the committee for the post.
A writ petition questioning the dissolution of this committee is pending before the High Court.
After Prof. Prasad"s term as Vice-Chancellor ended on October 19, 2007, the senior-most Dean in the university, P. Eshwar Bhat, took over as acting Vice-Chancellor from October 21, 2007.
When Prof. Bhat"s term as Dean ended on February 19, 2008, Dean of the Department of Botany T C Shivashankar Murthy took charge as the acting Vice-Chancellor.
With Prof. Murthy"s term also drawing to a close on November 4, the authorities will have to name a new acting Vice-Chancellor as the process of choosing a full-time Vice-Chancellor is unlikely to be completed by then.
Dean in the Department of Studies in Kannada C P Siddashrama, who will be senior-most dean in the university by November 4, is expected to become the next acting Vice-Chancellor of the university.