Srinagar, Jan 3: Despite the recommendations putforth by the four-member committee, the authorities at Kashmir University (KU) are yet to resolve the inter-se seniority dispute of the University professors.
As per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the issue came to limelight once again after J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha has ordered that the Vice Chancellor SKUAST-Kashmir Prof. Nazir Ganai will look after KU routine matters till January 22 of 2023.
The arrangement has been made as the incumbent VC KU has gone to Australia with regard to some personal matters.
The move has however raised eyebrows on the varsity administration with the academicians expressing their concern saying that why was the administration reluctant to resolve the seniority dispute of varsity professors.
“KU is one of the oldest institutions but unfortunately it has not declared the seniority of its professors. It sends a wrong signal outside which is not good for the institution,” a senior KU professor said, wishing not to be named.
“Is this such a big issue that it remains unresolved despite recommendations of the committee or the administration is delaying it deliberately,” the Prof asked.
The professor said the delay in resolving the seniority dispute dents their reputation after the look after charge of VC is given to some professor from outside KU.
“Our VC has gone for 20 days’ vacation while the VC SKUAST-K, who is already overburdened with his own matters within SKUAST, will look after the routine of KU. This is not a healthy arrangement,” the professor said.
The seniority dispute remains lingering at a time when the J&K LG praised the KU for positioning itself as a centre of excellence in the country noting that KU was being talked about across the country because of its academic excellence and high rankings.
Earlier in 2022, the KU a four-member panel comprised Dean School of Basic and Applied Sciences Central University of Jammu Prof Devanand as chairman, while Director DIQA Kathua campus of Jammu University Prof Meenakshi Kilam, Director NIFT Srinagar Dr Javid Ahmad Wani and Education officer UGC Kishor Kumar were its members.
The panel had submitted its final recommendations after holding through deliberations on the issue and submitted the recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor KU.
“The matter was settled after the panel devised a formula on the basis of set norms wherein joining date of the professors was deemed as an essential criteria to finalise the recommendations,” a KU prof said.
Notably, the need to fix the disputed seniority arose after Professor Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Sangmi in 2022 submitted an application to the then VC KU Prof Talat Ahmad and claimed that he was the senior-most professor in the University.
Prof Sangmi had also challenged the inter-se seniority list formulated by the University authorities in 2017.
Last year, the issue came to limelight after the The Chancellor’s office asked the then VC KU to hand over the charge to the third person outside the university to hold the charge of in-charge VC KU amid the dispute in the seniority of the varsity professors.
Following this, the VC of Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) was given the charge to look after the routine matters of KU during the leave period of Prof Talat.
Meanwhile, the KU academicians have urged the J&K LG who is also the Chancellor of the J&K Universities for his personal intervention into the matter and resolve the seniority dispute of professors in KU.
“If there is dispute in the seniority between Serial 1 and 2, let the charge be given to the Prof who stands at serial 3 in the seniority list. That is better for the institutions instead of making arrangements outside the varsity,” a senior Prof. said.