No political interference in VC appointments: Sibal

Create: 03/27/2011 - 10:57

The Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has called for the need to end political interence in the appointment of Vice Chancellors of universities. He said the education system in the country would evolve only if such practices were stopped. The minister was speaking at the national conference of vice – chancellors in New Delhi.

“Vice Chancellors are appointed at the instance of the political establishment. This must end. If we really want our system to thrive, then the academic world should be left free to its own devices in the hope that you create a future for the country,’’ Sibal told Vice Chancellors of universities from across the country.

Sibal also mooted that the university system must allow mobility to students. The university system needs to rise up from the current approach of limiting itself to teaching in specific streams as also limiting students to availing courses that are available only in their institutions, he said. Sibal stressed on the need of transparency and accountability in the system where students should also be allowed to assess teachers, “Germination of ideas takes place through the university system. If the university system is not effervescent, energetic, creative, then you would be relegated to the knowledge of the past,” he said.

On the topic of foreign academic collaborations, Sibal said that there is enormous interest amongst foreign universities in collaborating with the Indian universities or setting up their institutions here. He mentioned the research opportunities particularly are the drawing factor for foreign institutions. 

Advocating for a fundamental shift in the higher education set up, Sibal envisioned an atmosphere that allows greater student mobility and an academic world that has the freedom to chart its own future. Underlining the need for uniformity in access to education, he said that universities must create a financial, social, economic structure which facilitates access to students.

The vice chancellors conference would seek to identify development issues, challenges and reform agenda in higher education for the 12th Five Year Plan Period.

[Source: The Hindu]


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Prof Ayyappan... well said sir... WHO IS TO BELL THE CAT...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I strongly agree with Mr. Sibbal. Otherwise the post of VC becomes political. If he is apponited by politicians, the VC also becomes involved in politics. A true academician, researcher and administrator should be given the post of Vice-Chancellor....

I appreciate the ideas expressed by Mr.Sibal and look forward to see how he asserts himeslf and his implementing arms like UGC/MHRD to stop appointments of V.C.s on political considerations. This is rampant in West Bengal over last 35 yrs. and elsewhere. Let us find out how he clears the pending ICHER Bill which envisages appointment of V.C. from a National Panel.

Submitted by Mohandas on

Well said, honourable Minister, but who will do that?. Remember 12 Directors of NITs were thrown out when UPA Ministry took over and then these were replaced by people whom later minister liked or who gave a neat sum. The question is "WHO WILL BELL THE CAT". A few individuals obviously cannot do it and the politicians prefer the way it is now because they can get whatever they want be done by these.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

On certain issues the ideas expressed by Mr Sibal are welcome worthy but certain policy decisions taken at the behest of the MHRD are not good. For instance the decision to done away with the Board Exams at 10th standard level is not in the interest of indian education system. In rural areas the standard of education will fall becuase of this decision. The MHRD should reconsider this decision. For Admission to IITs and IIMs the PI and GD test should be conducted centrally like the JMET and CAT exam. The should not be forced to run here and there for PI and GD test for these admissions. A combined merit list should be drawn with preference of students as is done in AIEEE and AIPMT admissions. It will bring uniformity in the admission process.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

No true educationist would disagree with Mr. Sibbal. THis fact has been known to everybody in the domain of University system, so far nothing has been done. The remedy is very simple. The Vice-chancellor must be selected by a national panel.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Great Thoughts Need Speedy Implementation.
Hope Sibal has the BAL to do the incredible!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Well said. More spirit is to be shown in letter than mere delivering lofty ideas and more flavored words. As we all know that how our political system has earned dubious distinction among emerged and emerging countries. The political system has enfeebled and debilitated our strong democratic system of yesteryear. Thank god!. we have found a sincere politician who wants to check-mate politician's interference in academic institutions for no valid reasons. We do not of have academic leadership deficit in higher education. Certainly, ethical deficit is loomed large in Indian higher education. 'Yes boss culture' must not be seen in any form of higher education. Quality faculty with international repute still considering to migrate to U.S, U.K etc.. where brain is valued and measured handsomely. We may recall Prof. Jagadish Chandra Bose tete-a-tete with former prime minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi that BRAIN DRAIN IS FAR BETTER AND SUPERIOR THAN BRAIN IN DRAIN. Quality faculty are leaving institutions because of incompetent and unprofessional academic leadership. If re-assess the academic excellence under any one V-C's tenure in any conventional especially state govt, it is pathetic and miserable. Only can do attitude but not a tangible evidence to that effect. Let us see how far Mr. Kapil Sibal, unassuming politician ever seen in Indian democratic system will succeed in his endeavor though it is a challenging one. It is our duty to keep our higher education flag flying high among other countries.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Well said.Mr Kabil Sibel has that magic Wand in his hands..But can he prevent the communal considerations in VC selection too ?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Thanks to Mr. Sibal, if he mean and execute what he said. I think problems be taken with Bottom up approach rather than Top Bottom. More political influence can be seen at middle and bottom level.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Hon. Kapil Sibbal ji,
At least you have taken one step to speak and expose the truth. Measures should be taken for your suggestions. The Vice Chancellors should not be the instrument in the hands of politicians. Moreover the colleges should be allowed to assess the universities and vice chancellors based on the disposal of the files and their co-ooperation for solving the problems of institutions.
The professional colleges should run on the fees that are affordable to the students coming from the villages and poor family. The strong measures should be taken to make the best use of available faculty in the form of talency as well as time. This should include in the increase in hours of work of all the faculties. If the work hours is increased then and then only the fee structure of the private professional colleges shall be to the extent of possibility to the needy students. Otherwise only the students of rich family shall get technical education. This will lead to economic inbalance in future.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I cannot agree with the HRD Minister more; especally his views on 'apolitical' appointment of VCs, student mobility, and 'real' autonomy (with accountabilty).
This is the only way to make Universities 'seats of knowledge, learning and wisdom' instead f being the arena for politics, parochialism and several other things which do not have even have a remote connection to 'learning'. Let us aspire to retransform India to the glorious days of Nalanda and Takshasila.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

This is really urgently required in order to attract new talents to fill up the huge number of vacant positions and to activate the existing ones to make them more productive. Also, the administrative processes should be made simple and less time consuming. The administrators should be trained properly to know how to assist the academicians rather than blocking them in all possible manners. In state university system purchasing a science equipment is a nightmare.. takes most of energy leaving the investigators too tired to think... to be creative. Do political parties have enough will power to do so?

The MIC wants that the incumbents in the posts of V.C. be selected strictly on merit. Fine. Noe let the posts of Vice-Chancellor be also advertised in pubilc domain stipulating in details the qualification and experience as done for other faculty/administrative positions in our Universities. Let a Selection Committee be constituted to interview the applicants and recommend the candidate to the Chancellor as per guidelines to be finalised and circulated by UGC. Only this bold step will be able to overcome to some extent the political choice of the V.C.

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