Srinagar, Nov 1, KDC: After dragging feet for nearly two years to fill up the vacant post of Registrar despite massive resentment, the Kashmir University (KU) authorities have finally decided to hold the interview to appoint the new Registrar at the earliest. The development comes days after this news agency reported the worsening state of chronic maladministration in the Varsity due to failure of the authorities to appoint a full-fledged Registrar.
“The interviews for all vacant positions, including that of Registrar will be held in the month of November only. I have written to the Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department seeking dates for the interview. I will request him to expedite it,” Vice Chancellor, KU, Prof Neelofer Khan told Kashmir Dot Com.
Notably, the post of KU Registrar is vacant since January 2022 and is being manned by Joint Registrar, Dr Nisar Ahmad, amid serious allegations of corruption, favoritism and maladministration. The post of Registrar, after much delay, was formally advertised in January 2023 but an interview for shortlisted candidates is yet to be held.
The In-Charge Registrar is battling allegations of large-scale corruption in construction projects across University’s campuses, besides allegation of appointing daughter of a former Deputy Registrar, who is said to be a close friend of the In-Charge Registrar, in the University’s Model School without putting the post to advertisement.
The In-Charge Registrar is also accused of drawing salary in the Pay Matrix of Level 14 as against Pay Matrix of Level 13 in contravention of financial rules ever since his term as Registrar ended in January 2022.
“Since he is an in-charge Registrar, he cannot draw a salary in the grade of Registrar. He has to draw it in the grade of Joint Registrar with charge allowance if permissible under rules,” a former finance officer of KU, wishing anonymity, said.
The In-Charge Registrar is also facing charges of promoting one Assistant Registrar, who is presently looking after the recruitment section, to the grade of Deputy Registrar against an open position of Deputy Registrar, besides granting illegal benefits of Joint Registrar grade and designation to the former Deputy Registrar whose daughter was allegedly illegally appointed in the Model School.
It may be noted that ever since the 3-year term of Registrar ended, not a single order on his continuation has been made public by the University. Previously, the Chancellor’s Office Raj Bhawan had directed continuation of the Registrar only until the new VC took over, which implied his continuation only until May 2022 when Prof Neelofer took the reigns of the University.
“We don’t know under what arrangement he is continuing since then. We haven’t seen any formal order on his continuation which could make the terms and conditions clear,” said a KU professor wishing anonymity.
With regard to all these allegations, the KU Vice Chancellor told Srinagar based news agency Kashmir Dot Com that she would inquire into these issues. “I will look into all this,” she assured.
Pertinently, the Kashmir University is reeling from maladministration, with hundreds of aspirants for the posts of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor waiting for the filling up of these vacant posts. They accuse the In-Charge Registrar of creating maladministration in the system whereby timely recruitments have taken a huge hit.
Already, the Islamic University of Science and Technology has expedited the process to fill up the post of Registrar, even though KU has dragged feet on the issue for nearly two years, leading to allegations of favoritism and political pressure to continue with the In-Charge arrangement.
The In-Charge KU Registrar is also embroiled in conflict of interest, according to University’s insiders, since he is an applicant for the post of Registrar and should have been asked to step down to pave way for a level playing field for all applicants.
In 2022, Dr Nisar was removed as Member Secretary of the Search Committee for appointment of VC after it surfaced that he is among applicants despite having issued the VC Advertisement Notice under his signatures. At that time the Raj Bhawan handed over the assignment of Member Secretary to a senior professor. (KDC)