PM likely to urge VCs to put in papers


Himalayan News Service

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Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai is likely to urge the newly appointed Vice Chancellors (VCs) of seven universities, including Tribhuvan University (TU), to cooperate with the government by tendering their resignations tomorrow.

The move is apparently intended to end the deadlock in the universities that had surfaced following their appointments by the erstwhile education minister Ganga Lal Tuladhar of the Jhala Nath Khanal-led government.

Devendra Paudel, the PM’s chief political adviser, said Bhattarai would hold a meeting with the VCs and urge them resign from the post to pave the way for consensus among parties in the backdrop of the new political scenario and the protest being staged by a section of professors over their appointment.

“No one can work without consensus and cooperation from all political parties and professors' associations. Therefore, new appointments on the basis of general consensus will have to be made,” he said.

The VCs appointed by the former government on August 8 are — Prof Hira Bahadur Maharjan for TU, Prof Shiva Hari Marahattha for Nepal Sanskrit University, Jaya Raj Awasthi for Far Western University, Prof Kailash Nath Pyakurel for Agriculture and Forestry University, Prof Maheshwor Man Shrestha for Purbanchal University, Prof Padam Lal Devkota for Mid Western University and Prof Khagendra Bhattarai for Pokhara University.

Prof Maharjan said that he would decide whether or not to tender his resignation after meeting the Prime Minister.

"Our resignation, I think, may not be the only solution to appease agitating professors. We will also discuss other ways to find an amicable solution to the protracted crisis," he said.

Dr Awasthi said the prime minister, in the capacity of Chancellor of universities, reserves the authority to appoint and dismiss VCs. “But the government should come up with better options to end the deadlock," he said.

Meanwhile, professors aligned to Democratic Professors Association (DPA) and Nepal National Professors’ Organisation (NNPO) close to the Nepali Congress and the UCPN-Maoist respectively, have continued padlocking all the universities for an indefinite period since August 9 demanding correction of the decision.

The agitating professors have already held rounds of talks with the PM to urge him to revoke the decision.

On condition of anonymity, one of the professors from DPA claimed that the PM would urge the VCs to pave the way for crisis resolution. Purna Lamichhane, general secretary, NNPO said that they wanted commitment from the government and the newly appointed VCs to work independently in future.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)