Guv rejects JU bid for more powers to VC, stresses for biometric attendance

University draws flak for Table Item on retirement age

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Apr 20: The Jammu University Council, which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor Satya Pal Malik, rejected the agenda seeking delegation of powers to the Vice-Chancellor to sanction or revoke transfer order of deputation in respect of the JU employees whose appointing authority is the University Syndicate.
Official sources told the Excelsior that rejecting reservations of JU Teachers Association on biometric attendance, the Governor directed that besides all the University employees, including faculty members, the biometric attendance should be mandatory for scholars also.
The University also drew flak for taking up Table Item proposing enhancement of JU faculty retirement age to 65 years, instead of including the same in Main Agenda even as the matter was referred to Principal Secretary Finance, Arun Kumar Mehta; Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula and Principal Secretary Planning and Development, Rohit Kansal, who were also present in the meeting.
While elaborating, sources said that the Governor rejected to consider the Agenda Item number 85:17 regarding delegation of powers to JU Vice-Chancellor to sanction or revoke a transfer order of deputation in respect of the University employees, whose appointing authority is the University Syndicate.
The University claimed that the delegation of such power to the Vice-Chancellor, which is presently with the Chancellor, is required for ease of administration and appropriate disposal of the cases. However, sources added, both Umang Narula and Rohit Kansal did not subscribe to the plea given by JU and opined that delegating such powers to VC would lead to political pressures for affecting such orders instead of facilitating the University administration.
Moreover, they further said, competence of the Chancellor, instead of VC, to sanction or revoke a transfer order of deputation, has never created any administrative problem for the University so far. As the University had no more logic to justify this proposal, the Agenda Item number 17 was rejected by the Governor, sources informed.
Pertinent to mention that as per the Deputation Service Rules for the JU employees, “the Chancellor instead of the University Council shall be competent to sanction or revoke a transfer order of deputation.”
According to the sources, Governor also rejected the reservations of JU Teachers Association with regard to making biometric attendance mandatory for the faculty members also. Emphasizing on strict implementation of biometric attendance for all the university employees, including faculty members, sources said that Governor Satya Pal Malik also asked for inclusion of scholars in this ambit.
President JUTA Prof K S Charak sought to explain that biometric attendance was not feasible for the teachers and scholars who have no fixed working hours and they are supposed to stay in late hours for research works. However, sources said, the Chancellor rejected this plea and maintained that a fixed timing to mark the biometric attendance was not necessary for the teachers and scholars who could do the same whatever time they visit the university even as attempt should be made to perform routine research work within office hours.
Sources said that the University also drew flak for taking up the proposal regarding enhancement of superannuation age of the University teachers from 62 to 65 years as a Table Item instead of listed Agenda. The Principal Secretary to Governor virtually reprimanded the University questing intentions behind taking up the proposal not in Main Agenda Item but Table Item. As the JU informed that the enhancement of superannuation age issue had already been discussed in the Joint Committee of the Universities, the Governor asked Arun Kumar Mehta, Rohit Kansal and Umang Narula to look into the matter and discuss its financial implications before further action.
Responding to this Table Item, sources said that president of College Teachers Association, Prof D S Manhas, who was also present in the Council meeting, complained about disparity with the college teachers with regard to retirement age notwithstanding UGC Regulations of 2010, according to which age of superannuation for college teachers as well as university teachers is 65 years. Even as the retirement age has been enhanced to 62 years for teachers of all State universities and Medical Colleges, Degree College teachers have been left and their age of superannuation is still 60 despite clearance by the Finance Department, he explained and informed the Governor that their file was still awaiting the State Administrative Council approval. He insisted that superannuation age of college teachers should be first enhanced to 62 years and then the demand of University teachers may be considered, sources said.
In this 85th meeting of the University Council, which was held at the Raj Bhawan Jammu, there were total 33 Agenda Items, including 28 in Main and 5 in Supplementary Agenda. Registrar JU, Dr Meenakshi Kilam presented the Agenda Items.
The meeting was informed that based on the NAAC grade and upon being conferred as a Category 1 University with full autonomy by the UGC, as well as on the basis of performance of the University in RUSA-I, JU has been selected for grant of Rs 100 crore under RUSA-II in 2018-19.
In order to usefully gain under RUSA II phase, Governor emphasized restructuring of course curriculum by integrating it with research both in science and technology as well as humanities. He stressed providing world class teaching learning experience by modernizing and creating smart classrooms, providing e-resources and state of the art laboratories, introduction of new programmes and courses with emphasis on developing broad competencies and skills in order to ensure that our students can compete at the national and global level.
Governor also suggested focus on establishing Research & Innovation Cluster for creating synergies and partnerships among all institutions of higher learning of the region. He suggested handholding of the affiliated colleges of the University in areas of research, governance, accreditation and quality assurance.
In order to enrich both academic and social life of the students, Governor advised developing inter-disciplinary programmes to enhance cross-collaboration among faculty and scholars, introduction of student exchange programmes in various disciplines/programmes and holding mega cultural, sports and academic events on the campus.
To change perception of J&K, Governor suggested organizing academic and extra-curricular events in different educational institutions outside the State so that increased interaction among students could help in clearing misconceptions relating to security environment prevailing in the State and promote better understanding among youth regarding diversity existing in the country. Governor advised brand image building of the University by publishing souvenirs, publications, promotional materials, organizing events and taking other special initiatives for golden jubilee celebrations.
Governor emphasized ensuring adequate and separate sanitation facilities for female students within the campus which would be under the supervision of female supervisors engaged to look after such facilities and establishment of a common room for female students in all campuses and colleges.
He suggested installation of mobile jammers in the examination hall and observed that all issues relating to students’ welfare should be represented by elected representatives of the students.
Besides the Vice-Chancellor, JU, Prof Manoj Kumar Dhar, the Council meeting was attended by Prof Talat Ahmad, VC Kashmir University; Prof Sheikh Javid Ahmad, VC Cluster University Srinagar; Prof Anju Bhasin, VC Cluster University Jammu; Talat Parvez Rohella, Secretary Higher Education Department; Prof Vinayshil Gautam, Founder Director, IIM-K; Prof R P Tandon, Head Department of Physics and Astro Physics, University of Delhi; Prof Vibhakar Mansotra, Dean Faculty of Mathematical Sciences, JU; Prof Darshana Kumari, Dean, Faculty of Education, JU.