Caste casts shadow on selection of next vice-chancellor

More than 120 aspirants locked in the competition for the Vice-Chancellor post of Andhra University.

Visakhapatnam: With more than 120 aspirants locked in the competition for the Vice-Chancellor post of AU, the battle has turned fierce. After retirement of ex-VC of AU, Prof. G.S.N. Raju, the coveted post has been lying vacant and AU Rector, Prof. E.A. Narayana, has been acting as an interim V-C. Apart from the educational credentials and experience, caste would take the centre stage in the final selection this time as the government is pitching for representation of different castes in V-C posts of various state varsities. Besides issuing a notification in January, inviting applications from professors who had completed 10 years of service, the state has also constituted a search committee to suggest a panel of three members for appointment of the V-C post.

According to sources, the two major communities – namely Kapu and Kamma – are vying hard for the top post. While the Kamma community is arguing that they weren’t elevated to the V-C post over the last 30 years, the recent Kapu agitation has come as shot in the arm for the aspirants of the latter. There is information that a particular BC community is also rooting for the candidates of their caste.

Speaking to DC, an ex-VC of AU said though many had applied for the post, they don’t meet the criteria stipulated by the AP State Higher Education Council. AU Rector and interim V-C Prof. E.A. Narayana and AU Registrar Prof. V. Uma Maheswara Rao are the front runners. “Former AU Registrars Prof. J.M. Naidu and Prof. K. Rama Mohana Rao, Prof. Sudarsana Rao, Prof. VSRK Prasad, Prof. Kesava Rao, Prof. Mohana Rao, Prof. Rajendra Prasad are the top contenders.

A senior professor from the SV University, who belongs to the BC community, is also in the race,” the source added. The search committee, which includes Dr. M. Ananda Krishnan, Prof. Jai Rup Singh and secretary of the Higher Education Department, is expected to chair a meeting in the first week of March and finalise three names by the first week of April.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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