Do VCs Merit From Caste
Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi on Friday stunned everybody in the Legislative Council with the remark that “there are rumours of money and caste playing a crucial role in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors of various universities in the State”.
“This is the truth, which is known to everybody. But I am helpless because I cannot prove this,” the Minister said while replying to the former Minister Mumtaz Ali Khan of the Bharatiya Janata Party during Question Hour.
His remarks came in response to queries from Opposition members who wondered if money and caste, rather than merit, played an important role in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors.
Giving a break-up of the caste of Vice-Chancellors, Mr. Ravi said that of the 17 Vice-Chancellors in the State, four each were from the Scheduled Caste and Brahmin communities, three were Vokkaligas, two each were from the Lingayat and Kuruba communities and one each was from the Scheduled Tribe and Muslim communities.
Opposition leaders, especially Janata Dal (Secular) floor leader M.C. Nanaiah, took serious exception to the emphasis being given to caste and said caste and religion should never come into the picture while appointing Vice-Chancellors. Merit should be the sole criterion for selection of the heads of universities, which are places of higher learning, he said.
Explaining the process of selection of Vice-Chancellors, Mr. Ravi said a search committee comprising eminent personalities selected a panel of three names based on merit.
The Governor (Chancellor) then chose a person from among this panel based on merit, experience and social justice, in concurrence with the government.
He said there were instances where the Governor had chosen one from the panel of names without concurrence from the government.
But he refused to divulge details, saying that the matter was pending in court.
Earlier, Mr. Khan alleged that in most cases persons from the dominant communities were preferred for posts of Vice-Chancellor. This had come in the way of ensuring social justice, he added.