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Ball rolls for Presidency VC search

The search committee that will prepare a list of candidates for the post of full-term vice-chancellor of Presidency University will meet in March.

Panel chief Ved Prakash has finally responded to the intimation about his assignment and given three possible dates for the first meeting: March 15, 17 and 18.

UGC chairman Prakash, the governor’s nominee on the panel, mentioned the dates in an email to registrar Prabir Dasgupta on Tuesday. On Monday, officials had expressed concern over Prakash’s lack of response to the letter stating the governor’s decision, sent to him on January 22.

Registrar Dasgupta, who will provide secretarial assistance to the committee, has mailed the dates to the other two members — Harvard professor and Presidency mentor group chairman Sugata Bose (government’s nominee) and Delhi University professor and mentor Nayanjot Lahiri (university’s nominee).

“Prakash has given three dates and approved the text of the newspaper advertisement, seeking applications for the post,” Dasgupta said.

The advertisement, which will give 21 days for interested academicians to respond, will be published after the search committee holds its first meeting. After receiving all applications, the committee will have to meet at least thrice to prepare the shortlist of three names.

Mentor group chairman Bose said he was available for the meeting on March 17 and 18. “I have informed the person concerned about my availability. Since Nayanjot Lahiri and Ved Prakash are both from Delhi, it would be convenient if the meeting is held in Delhi,” said Bose.

The state government had set up the search committee on January 20.

Sources in the education department said the governor’s office had contacted Prakash after he failed to get in touch with the university in almost a fortnight since his name was announced.

“Three emails had been sent to him during the period, informing him about the governor’s choice,” said a Presidency official.

“The governor, also chancellor of the university, is keen on wrapping up the process of appointing Presidency’s first full-time VC at the earliest. He got in touch with the UGC chairman to set the ball rolling,” said the official.

The state government on Monday had appealed to the governor to extend interim VC Malabika Sarkar’s term, which was to end on February 15, till October 6 or until the appointment of her successor, whichever is earlier.

“In our proposal seeking Sarkar’s extension, we had pointed out that the search for the first full-term VC could take time,” said a source.