Power-sharing tussle delays VC appointments

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 20, 2015-

Ten days have passed since the vice-chancellors from seven universities retired after completing their tenure, but the Sushil Koirala-led coalition government has yet to fill the vacancies.

On August 8, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had formed seven committees--four led by Education Minister Chitra Lekha and three-led by National Planning Commission member Yagya Bahadur Karki--to pick the VC candidates within a week. These recommendation committees, however, could not finalised the names of the candidates, as the major political parties have staked claim to the vacant VC seats.

The VC seat at the Tribhuvan University (TU), the largest and oldest varsity of the country, is the most sought-after post by the parties.

Rameshwor Upadhyay, member of one of the recommendation committees, said they could not finalise the names of the candidates because of the power-sharing tussle.

Among the seven universities the senior coalition partner Nepal Congress wants to appoint its supporters in four universities including the TU.  The junior coalition partner, CPN-UML, meanwhile, has demanded three VC seats. Likewise, the main opposition, UCPN (Maoist), and the Madhes-based parties have said that there should be at least one VC post reserved for their candidates.

Sources say the NC is not in favour of granting more than two VC seats as the UML-led government in 2010 had also allocated only two seats to the NC. The UML, meanwhile, is pressing the NC to grant more VC posts as a return for the generosity it had shown during the appointment of chief secretary and chief executive officer of Reconstruction Authority.

Leaders of Progressive University Teachers’ Association, which is close to the UML, say they want at least three VC positions in any universities.

Meanwhile,  Karki, who leads one of the recommendation committees,said they were close to finalising the names and that he hoped the appointments will be made within a week.

The recommendation committees propose the names of three candidates for each university and the prime minister, who is also the ex-officio chancellor, picks the VC.

The VCs from the TU, Pokhara University, Purbanchal University, Agriculture and Forestry University , Nepal Sanskrit University, Mid-Western University and Far-Western University retired after completing their four-year tenure.

Published: 20-08-2015 09:02

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