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Govt sets up search panel for JU head

The state government has set up a three-member search committee to suggest names for the post of vice-chancellor for Jadavpur University.

The committee is headed by R. Chidambaram, the principal scientific adviser to the Union government. The other members are economist Sugata Marjit and Gopal Mishra, the vice-chancellor of Gour Banga University.

The committee has been asked to send three names to the governor, who is also chancellor of the university, by October 28.

The higher education department had in April extended the tenure of JU’s interim VC, Abhijit Chakrabarti, by six months (from April 28) or till a full-term VC is appointed, whichever is earlier. Chakrabarti’s term had to be extended because of the government’s inability to constitute a search panel.

Chakrabarti had assumed charge on November 28 last year for a period of six months following the resignation of full-term VC Souvik Bhattacharyya.

“Though the names of two nominees — R. Chidambaram, the chancellor’s nominee, and Sugata Marjit, the nominee of the court (the highest decision-making body of JU) — had been finalised, we could not pick the government nominee as the model code of conduct was in force. Now we are through with the formation of the committee,” said a department official.

JU registrar Pradip Ghosh has been sent the order on the formation of the search committee and asked to provide secretarial assistance to the members.

A university official said the committee would publish advertisements in leading dailies seeking nominations for the post.

“The committee would shortlist three names after scanning the nominations and forward the panel to governor M.K. Narayanan, who will make the final choice,” said an official of the higher education department.

In May 2012, the department had formed a search committee comprising Govardhan Mehta (former director, IISC Bangalore), M. Anandakrishnan (former VC, Madras University) and Srikumar Bandyopadhyay (former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission).

Chakrabarti was then interim VC, following the end of full-term vice-chancellor P.N. Ghosh’s term. That committee, however, did not include Chakrabarti’s name. Based on the panel’s list, Bhattacharyya, a professor of mechanical engineering at IIT-Kharagpur, had been appointed VC.