Vice-chancellor Bajpai for curbing politics in Himachal Pradesh University

Shimla: Drawing salaries out of public exchequers, university teachers should not be affiliated with any political party, is how the new VC of HPU spelled out plans to depoliticize the campus even as he talked about autonomy and turning the institution into a centre of excellence.

In an interaction with the media ADN Bajpai, who took over as the new Vice-chancellor on Wednesday said that efforts would be made to keep politics outside the gates of the campus.

With there being two strong unions of teachers in the university who are openly affiliated to political parties and some even having contested assembly elections while protecting their jobs, the new VC said “ the university act would have to be scrutinized to see that how faculty members were allowed to be members of political parties.

“If need be, it would be suggested to the government to get the anomaly removed through appropriate legislation or otherwise,” he added.

The new VC went onto say, “there is no place for personal prejudices based on politics, caste, creed and religion and those found indulging in it could lose their jobs.”

He said it was a matter of concern that where salaries of faculty members was increasing and they were getting their promotions yet grading of HPU by NAAC had dropped two notches from B++ to B.

“Certainly there are some shortcomings within the university set up, which need to be corrected so that its grading improves,” said Bajpai.

Teachers would be asked to stay on campus between working hours from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. and devote time for teaching and research for the teacher-taught relationship cannot be substituted by any other mode of education.

Publishing of journals and newsletters would be started immediately, library would be updated, a data bank would be developed, better quality of research and conducting independent surveys would be started, said the VC.

When the issue of students violence on the campus was brought up, he said “it was no solution for solving problems in an academic institution and Gandhian modes of protest have shown how effectively non violence can be used to make ones point.”

Talks would be initiated with the SFI, NSUI and AVBP outfits to try and resolve matters so that academic issues can be brought into focus.

About shortage of staff, he said that lecturers could be hired on contract or per lecture basis to make up for the shortfall till regular arrangements are made but academics would not be allowed to suffer on this account.