What is the criteria for the Vice-Chancellor’s post, SC asks AMU

The ethics of Aligarh Muslim University have been questioned by the Supreme Court as it seems that the university has forgotten the rules while appointing someone to the post of Vice-Chancellor. On that note, the Supreme Court asked the university if they are ready to appoint any singer, sportsman or a musician for the post.

The bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur asked the authorities of AMU, “Can anybody, unconnected with academics be also appointed? What is the criteria? There is no qualification, no eligibility criteria, no search committee…who proposes the appointment? Can anyone become the V-C?”

On being questioned, Raju Ramachandran, advocate for the University said, “The university, in its wisdom, appoints eminent persons for the top post. The Vice President Hamid Ansari, a career diplomat, being an eminent person, he was appointed the V-C of the university from 2000 to 2002.”

The hearing was adjourned till December 6 as Prashant Bhushan, the lawyer for the petitioner was not available because of his surgery.

According to the regulations set by University Grants Commission in the year 2010, it is expected that the Vice Chancellor should possess certain educational qualifications. But, AMU says that it does not abide by the same as it is yet to adopt these norms. To which UGC replied that these laws stand mandatory for all the universities, whether private or government, it does not care whether the university has adopted these laws or not.

The HRD Ministry said that the universities are formally required to adopt these rules as UGC had come up with these new rules.

In the past, the Supreme Court had posed some questions to the university and challenged it on the appointment of Lt Gen (retired) Zameer Uddin Shah as the Vice Chancellor of the university. He is a former soldier and does not have any teaching experience for the post, the bench had observed. Chief Justice said, “The regulations make it compulsory for the VC to possess certain academic qualifications, saying he or she must be a distinguished academician. How can a retired army officer or a police officer be the head of a central university?”

The court wanted to know whether his appointment is right according to the rules laid down by UGC.

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