Proposed Gondwana University delayed; VC still not finalised
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 11:49
Nagpur: The proposal to set up Gondwana University in naxal-infested Gadchiroli district in eastern Vidarbha region is gathering dust and the project still seems to be hanging in a limbo despite tall promises made by the Maharashtra government.

Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan on Saturday admitted the delay in setting up the new varsity and had promised that the process for appointing a new Vice-Chancellor would be initiated soon.

"Some proposals (for names of the VC) have been received," he had said.

During the last assembly session in Nagpur, the state government had assured to launch Maharashtra's latest university from Gadhchiroli from the coming academic session, by appointing a VC by the end of the winter session. However, even two months down the line, the government has failed to name a VC.

The government had also said that it will start operations from Nagpur University's sub centre at Gadchiroli from academic session 2011-12, and that the file regarding the first VC was with the CM.

Talks with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to hand over excess land to the new university, which will have over 163 affiliated colleges from Gadchiroli and Chandrapur, were also reported.

Sources close to Minister for Edcuation Rajesh Tope said that probable names were finalised but Home Minister R R Patil was of the opinion that the VC should be selected after conducting interviews, instead of a direct selection.

"It will be decided within a day or two," Tope assured again.

Sources told PTI that as per the new guidelines of the University Grants Commission, the Vice-Chancellor must have certain academic qualifications against the previous practice of 'political appointments'.

The Panel constituted for the formation of Gondwana University for that matter or any other varsity suggests names to the State Governor who is the Chancellor of Universities in Maharashtra and he picks up one of them.

In a new university, the Governor appoints the VC after the candidate is cleared by a search panel. The government can use the UGC statute (where the VC is appointed in accordance with the required minimum qualifications and teaching experience), or it can appoint the VC on its own. The Chief Minister's decision can be challenged in the court of law, sources added.

With the new VC, Gondwana University could start functioning from 2011-12. But it was felt that the main problem for the new university would be employees.

"Nagpur University (NU) employees have already opposed government's move to transfer them. Moreover, no one is volunteering to move to Gadchiroli. The government has a really tough task at hand in convincing the employees and they might have to pay additional remuneration to attract them," sources said.

Moreover, finalising a VC would not be enough for the formation of the new university. The biggest problem is getting at least 100 acres land.

Though Tope said that the new varsity will start functioning from NU's sub centre at Gadchiroli, its spread over hardly 10 acres, which is too less for a University to operate to its full capacity.

Nagpur University now known as Rashtra Sant Tukdoji Maharaj was set up in way back August 1, 1923. It was bifurcated and Amravati University (Sant Gadge Maharaj University) came in to existence on May 1, 1983.


First Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 11:49

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