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Prof Khurshid Andrabi withdraws claim over seniority to ‘settle row’

SRINAGAR: With the academicians at the Kashmir University (KU) unhappy with the interim arrangement made for the Vice Chancellor “from outside the system”, a senior professor of the University on Monday withdrew his claim for seniority “to settle the fiasco of a seniority tussle.” He, however, blamed the University administration for “projecting and propagating” the seniority dispute.

According to a letter Prof Khurshid Andrabi, who has been a former VC of the University of Kashmir, has written to the Vice Chancellor regarding the withdrawal of his earlier claim of seniority.

“In the larger interest of the University, in particular the teaching fraternity, I herewith withdraw my claim as the senior-most professor, in favour of Prof Ghulam Mohiuddin Dar,” the letter signed by Prof Andrabi reads.

“My decision to withdraw is purely intended to settle the fiasco of a seniority tussle, projected and propagated by the university administration,” the letter further reads.

The letter has been written at a time when the University is being looked after by Vice Chancellor of SKUAST K, Prof. Nazir Ahmad, for routine matters of the office of Vice Chancellor till January 22, 2023. The VC of the University Dr. Neelofer Khan is on leave for a personal visit to Australia.

Prior to Prof Nazir Ahmad, the University would be looked after by Prof Shakeel Ahmad Romshoo, VC of Islamic University, during any leave period of Kashmir University VC. The arrangement was made by the Office of LG (since LG is the Chancellor of the University) following an alleged dispute over seniority amongst professors of the University.

Prof. Mohiuddin Sangmi of the Department of Commerce had contested the senior-most status of Prof. Khushid Andrabi of the Department of Biotechnology.

The University last year constituted a committee to determine the seniority of professors. Sources said the recommendations of the Committee were sent for approval to the Chancellor’s Office, where the file is still pending for the final decision.

Academicians at KU have expressed their disapproval of having the University governed by someone from “outside the university system”.

“The KU is a 50 year old institution which has made a great mark in the country. This contribution of the faculty and staff has been acknowledged by no less than the LG sahib himself while addressing a gathering in the University recently. It sends a very wrong message in the society if such an old institution is governed by someone outside the university system,” said senior faculty members at KU, wishing anonymity. “Such an arrangement belittles the contributions and hardwork of the faculty members, many of whom have been applicants for the post of Vice Chancellor and have made great contributions in academics.”

A professor of Science faculty said on the condition of anonymity that the Chancellor’s office should resolve the issue now that one professor has withdrawn his claim over seniority.

“The VC of any other University has his own institution to look after. Therefore such an interim arrangement is not good for the welfare of a University as big as KU. There are issues which need immediate redressal. Therefore you cannot wait for the VC from another university to come and resolve such immediate issues,” the professor said.

KNO earlier reported that the authorities at Kashmir University (KU) were yet to resolve the inter-se seniority dispute of the University professors despite the recommendations put forth by the four-member committee.

Earlier in 2022, the KU a four-member panel comprised Dean School of Basic and Applied Sciences Central University of Jammu Prof Devanand as chairman, while Director DIQA Kathua campus of Jammu University Prof Meenakshi Kilam, Director NIFT Srinagar Dr Javid Ahmad Wani and Education officer UGC Kishor Kumar were its members—(KNO)


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