UML politicising Tribhuvan University VC selection


Himalayan News Service

With the posts of Tribhuvan University and Nepal Sanskrit University vice chancellors lying vacant, professors affiliated to CPN-UML have been doing their bit to win over Minister for Education Gangalal Tuladhar. 

A three-member committee formed by the Prime Minister and coordinated by the Education Minister selects the candidates for the VC’s post as per Tribhuvan University Act-1992 and Nepal Sanskrit University Act-1986. Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal is yet to form the committee. However, Minister Tuladhar has been seeking submission of proposals, including strategies and work plans for reform in the universities in the next four years, from the professors visiting him. 

Minister Tuladhar, talking to The Himalayan Times, said: “This is meant to choose the best candidate to run the university.” 

He has also received recommendations from his party leaders. About 70 professors have already met him, of them 25-odd have submitted their proposals. “I doubt the quality of proposals from the aspirants,” added Tuladhar. 

Asked why he did not publicly invite the proposals, he tried to come clean, citing busy schedule and political limitations. Sour-ces at the ministry said most of the visitors were not experienced and qualified for the post and that majority of them did not submit the proposals as demanded by the minister. 

Former VCs have condemned the political meddling, saying the trend will damage the prestige of the universities and stressed the need to select capable and qualified professors. 

A member of the Forum of Former Vice Chancellors, Prof Kamal Krishna Joshi, said they would appeal to the PM to appoint qualified VCs with non-political background. “We’ll meet PM Khanal on May 4 to put forward the demand,” he said. 

TU’s former VC Kedar Bhakta Mathema said the parties had done injustice to students by making political appointments to the executive heads. The political parties should jointly issue a white paper not to interfere in university affairs, said Mathema. 

“The candidates should be capable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities on academic, not political, basis,” added Mathema. The political wrangling for the post of executive head, registrar and rectors in both the universities had left the universities without leadership for months in 2007.

(Source: The Himalayan Times)