Protests keep VCs off officesVice-chancellors (VC) in seven universities are yet to assume office even a week after their appointments due to the ongoing protests by Nepal Progressive Professors Association (NPPA), a group close to the CPN-UML.
Vice-chancellors (VC) in seven universities are yet to assume office even a week after their appointments due to the ongoing protests by Nepal Progressive Professors Association (NPPA), a group close to the CPN-UML.
The NPPA on August 24 padlocked the administrative departments of five universities expressing its dissatisfaction over the appointments. It vows the padlock will continue unless Nepali Congress (NC) corrects the ‘unilateral’ appointment of the VC’s. On August 23, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, as the chancellor of the varsities, had appointed VC in five out of seven universities that had been vacant for two weeks. He appointed Tirtha Khaniya at Tribhuvan University, Kul Prasad Koirala at Nepal Sanskrit Ghanshayam Lal Das at Purbanchal University, Bhusan Shrestha at Far Western and Ishwari Prasad Dhakal at Agriculture and Forestry University on the recommendations by committees led respectively by Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav and Yaggya Bahadur Karki, member at National Planning Commission.
Among the appointees, four are close to the NC-affiliated Democratic Professor Association while Dhakal is close to the UCPN (Maoist)-aligned Nepal Professor’s Association. Out of its demands for VC positions in three universities, the NPPA has been allocated the top positions only in two—Mid Western University and Pokhara University. The association had held talks with Khaniya on Sunday, but it was inconclusive as the demands were beyond the jurisdiction of the VC.
NPPA Chairman Yadav Lamichhane said the government has shown no urgency to resolve the problem. “The NC is leading the coalition government but it has completely forgotten to emulate that in these appointments,” he argued.
“The padlock is the output of NC’s monopoly in appointment.” The UML has publicly criticised NC’s ‘unilateral’ move in the appointments, demanding its coalition partner to correct the course. The UML claims it had showed generosity in the appointment of chief secretary and CEO at the National Reconstruction Authority, the NC should reciprocate that by giving it a larger share in appointments at other institutions.
Meanwhile, the appointments of new VCs at Pokhara and Mid Western universities have been delayed as the NPPA has denied to name its candidates. Former vice-chairman at Higher Secondary Education Board Upendra Koirala and former dean at Institute of Engineering Bharat Raj Pahari are lobbying for the VC’s under the UML quota.