Kolkata: It has been four months since Aliah University, the only state-run minority university in India, has been without a vice –chancellor. Following the end of the tenure of former VC Professor Abu Taleb, in September last year, University’s registrar Dr Nurshad Ali has also been doubling up as the acting up as its acting VC.
Despite Partha Chatterjee, Minister of Higher Education having declared in September that a search committee for the selection of the university’s VC would soon be set up, most of the University professors are clueless about the recruitment.
“No University can run in this way. It’s almost four months since we have been without a VC. We have an acting VC, who is filling in, efficiently. But then there are so many decisions which only a VC can take, so they are getting bucketed in the pending list. We are in a limbo-like situation, where the day to day task of the University is being done, but nothing beyond that,” said, Dr Mohammad Maseehur Rahman, an associate professor in Arabic. He maintained that without a VC for this long a period, would only stagnate the University standards.
Another professor, Tajuddin Ahmed, associated with the University, was also upset with the present development. Ahmed said, “This is definitely damaging the image of Aliah University. It’s not just the students, but we are also being affected. So many professors, who wanted to avail the scholarships haven’t been able to do so, as the University lacks a VC, who is needed to sign these forms. Only classroom teaching is taking place. Barring it, every major decision is on hold.”
However, not many were willing to elaborate on the reason that has lead to such a situation. However most maintained that it could be a sabotage of sort to take the University under the Ministry of Higher Education.
At present, it lies under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Minority Affairs and Madarsah Education (MA&ME). Clarifying it, Amzed Hossein, Professor, Department of English and dean student welfare, stated, “These are just rumours. Last year itself, the University had been notified that while remaining under MA&ME, it would be getting guidance from the Department of Higher Education of Bengal. The delay in recruitment could be lack of communication between the two departments. I am afraid I wouldn’t be able to explain beyond this.”
Shedding some light on this issue was an official associated with MA&ME, who on condition of anonymity said, “There could be a political angle. There are a couple of people lobbying for recruitment of candidates as per their choice. All this could be delaying the recruitment.”
Professor Hossein, however, on being asked about the same, declined to comment on this. But he maintained that the University is yet to receive any notification regarding the setting up of a selection to scout for a suitable VC for the University. He added, “As per my knowledge, the acting VC has approached both the Ministries asking for the immediate recruitment of a VC. But sadly enough no concrete steps have been taken by the authorities to end this crisis.”
When eNewsroom contacted Minister Giasuddin Molla, Minister-of-State, Minorities Affairs and Madarsah Education, he told, “CM, who is also Minister-in-Charge of this Ministry, is bit busy these days and hence the delay. But be assured that Aliah University will be having a VC by the end of this month.”
Jamia Milia Islamia is the only other Muslim Minority Institution, in India, but unlike Aliah, its funded by the central government.