The high court’s decision to quash the appointment of six vice-chancellors, including Shambhu Nath Singh of Patna University, on Friday resonated through the varsity’s administrative block, superseding the poll buzz.
Singh was the only talking point on the campus. From teachers to students, everybody discussed the axed VC’s new initiatives to revive the old academic glory of the varsity and his vices.
Patna University dean of social sciences Bharti S. Kumar said: “Singh has a visionary power. He introduced the entrance test for admission to undergraduate courses and appointed teachers at College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, after decades.”
He said the state government had objected to the idea of conducting the entrance test at the eleventh hour. But Singh managed to get the proposal cleared by the chancellor.
Kumar said: “Whether the varsity would stick to the practice of conducting entrance test for admission to the undergraduate courses or not would be the prerogative of the next VC. But we have learnt from our fellow teachers that bright and studious students have joined the varsity this after the introduction of the admission test.”
A senior official of the varsity said: “The outgoing VC initiated several steps for the academic growth of the varsity. Singh managed to implement them despite objections raised by the state government several times because of his strong will power. The biggest example is conducting the entrance test for admission to the undergraduate courses.”
The state education department had scrapped the proposed entrance examination for admission to the colleges affiliated to Patna University on June 26, a day after submission of filled up forms drew to a close. State education minister P.K. Shahi had said the exam was being cancelled because the university did not consult with his department on the issue.
The next day, chancellor Devanand Konwar reversed the decision of the state government. As a result, the varsity went ahead with the entrance test.
The official added that the Patna University administration and the state government had been at loggerheads on several issues in the past one year. The latest was the state government initiating vigilance probe against Singh.
The university administration co-operated with the vigilance probe. But it soured the relationship between the university and the state government for sure.
Lauding Singh’s efforts, Patna University proctor and senior geology teacher Kriteshwar Prasad said the semester system was introduced in postgraduate courses and the appointment of teachers was made at College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, in the past one year.
After more than three decades, the college got nine permanent teachers as faculty members.
University sources said Singh had planned to appoint teachers on ad hoc basis in the colleges and the departments suffering from faculty crisis.
Patna College principal R.B. Singh said many new chairs named after prominent persons were introduced during the tenure of the outgoing VC. New courses like MA in journalism and MA in women’s studies were also started during his tenure.
The college principal said: “The outgoing VC had a positive approach towards new projects. Whenever anyone approached him with new ideas, he dealt with them with a positive frame of mind.”