Irani defends appointment of VCs by UPA Govt


New Delhi: Government on Wednesday steered clear of getting into any controversy over the appointment of some Vice Chancellors by the UPA government, saying they were selected by Search and Selection Committees and any comment on them would go against the autonomy of the universities.

During Question Hour in Lok Sabha, HRD Minister Smriti Irani defended the appointments after a BJP member questioned the selection of army and IAS officers as Vice Chancellors. In an apparent reference to the appointment of Lt Gen (Retd) Zameeruddin Shah as the Aligarh Muslim University's VC, Irani said the appointment was made by the UPA government and "if in a democracy, the appointment is made by the Search and Selection Committee", then it should be accepted.

"Any comment would not be good due to the autonomy enjoyed by the central universities," she said, replying to questions. Under the BJP government, there has been an increase of 55 per cent in fellowships and an estimated 80,000 people had benefitted from it, she claimed.

Irani also said the government had taken measures to fill up vacancies in central universities, adding that the UGC had advised state governments to appoint teachers against existing vacancies. Her remarks came after members expressed concern over large number of vacant teaching posts in various institutions


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