Appointments in the vacant posts of the vice chancellors in Tribhuvan and other universities have still not been possible due to division among the political parties. Although the posts of the vice chancellors suit only the academicians with leadership quality, the political parties have been applying their full strength to have their men in the top academic posts leaving the universities without leadership for months. The inability of the government to appoint the VCs in the universities shows how badly the academic institutions in Nepal have turned into the battle fields for the political parties. This also serves as a testimony to the fact that the political parties here are least bothered about the future of the universities and the students studying there. Instead of trying to free them from the political influence, the parties seem to be working to have their grip on them. Obviously, the exercises which have prevented the appointments of VCs will end in sharing of the posts, which will not be good for any of the universities. And when the key posts of the universities are divided among the parties, one can easily guess state of the academic environment and which direction they will move. The posts of the TU affiliated campuses across the country have already been divided among the local political parties.
Indeed, the universities, especially Tribhuvan and Mahendra Sanskrit universities, have been badly affected by students’ political activities over the years and when voices are being raised to free them from the political activities, the parties themselves have increased their influence in the name of appointing the VCs and other officials. Such extreme politicization of the academic institutions has worried not only the academicians but also the Education Minister himself. Speaking at a function the other day, Education Minister Gangalal Tuladhar expressed his concern over the worsening condition of the universities due to the distribution of posts among the parties. It was disheartening to hear Minister Tuladhar reveal that the top leaders of the major parties were exerting pressure on him to carry out the appointments on the basis of distribution of posts.
No doubt, the parties have over-politicised the top management of the universities in order to ensure a grip on it. The normal functions of universities are disrupted in the absence of leadership. They have been unable to find the resources required for the betterment of the universities. Political interference, brawls between unions, irresponsible management and teachers loyal to one or another political party, outdated technologies and curricula and lack of resources will only worsen the academic environment as well as the past glory of TU. The higher education sector, one of the areas of nation building, must not be left in disarray.
(Source: The Rising Nepal)