PATNA/GAYA: In ostensibly a first in Bihar, governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday appointed retired colonels and a retired brigadier as registrars in ten of the state’s 12 universities.
Old-timers recall the then Kedar Pandey government had, after scrapping key administrative bodies like Senate and Syndicate, appointed IAS officers as VCs in the state’s universities in 1972. During emergency in the late 1970s, Col A K Mishra was appointed as registrar of Patna University, but he was also an IAS officer.
While Brig (retd) Asif Hussain has been appointed registrar of Maulana Mazharul Haq Arabic and Persian University, Col (retd) Manoj Mishra has been appointed registrar of Patna University. Colonels (retd) Rabi Shankar Sharma and Pranav Kumar have been appointed registrars of Jai Prakash University-Chhapra and BN Mandal University-Madhepura respectively.
Colonels (retd) Nisheeth Kumar Rai, Shyama Nand Jha and Ajay Kumar Roy have been appointed registrars of LN Mithila University-Darbhanga, Veer Kunwar Singh University-Ara and BRA Bihar University-Muzaffarpur respectively. Col (retd) Kamal Kishore Mishra has been appointed registrar of Magadh University.
Colonels (retd) Kamesh Kumar and Pravir Kant Jha have been appointed registrars of newly created Pataliputra University and Munger University respectively. BRA Bihar University’s Prof Kaushal Kishore Chaudhary has been appointed registrar of newly created Purnia University.
Retired Bihar Administrative Service officials Suresh Kumar Sharma and Ashok Kumar Jha have been appointed registrars of KSD Sanskrit University-Darbhanga and Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University respectively.
The appointments were made on the recommendation of a search committee following its interaction with the candidates whose names had been requisitioned by the chancellor’s secretariat from the Army HQ and the state government. The search committee consisted of Patna University VC Rash Bihari Prasad Singh, Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University VC Nalini Kant Jha and Nalanda Open University VC Rabindra Kumar Sinha.
Both the Bihar State Universities (amendment) Act, 2017 and the Patna University (amendment) Act, 2017 provide for appointment of retired civil administration officials like ADMs as registrars, a position hitherto given to teachers.
“Teacher registrars have so far failed to bring in desired improvement in the universities. The chancellor in recent months took several initiatives like formulation of academic and examination calendars, introduction of biometric attendance for teachers and other staff and implementation of choice-based credit system, but few universities have made satisfactory progress in these directions,” said a former PU college principal.
The chancellor’s move, however, also drew flak. Federation of University Teachers’ Associations of Bihar’s working president Kanhaiya Bahadur Sinha and general secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh called it “a retrograde step which will hardly serve any purpose”.
Universities are very sensitive places and they cannot be handled with iron rods, they said. It smacks of “regimentation” of the centres of higher learning, added Sinha.
Patna University Teachers’ Association president Randhir Kumar Singh and general secretary Abhay Kumar demanded a review of the move.
State government’s former director (higher education) Nageshwar Sharma also called it “an unwise decision”. “A university administration is different from the pyramidical structure of armed forces and even from general administration,” he said.
Welcoming the appointment of Col (retd) Mishra as MU registrar, Magadh University Postgraduate Teachers’ Association president Sita Ram Singh, however, said the new arrangement must be given a try and hoped campus discipline would now be restored.