4 on vigilance radar in running for VC

Patna, Jan. 15: Raj Bhavan and the state government are poised for another confrontation over appointment of vice-chancellors in universities.

The list of VC aspirants sent by Raj Bhavan ' Governor Devanand Konwar is the chancellor of the state universities ' to the government, according to informed sources, includes the names of six of the existing VCs whose appointments have been quashed by the high court.

"The list has gone back from the education department to the chief minister's office from where it will be sent to the vigilance bureau for scrutiny. This is a routine process. But the fact remains that at least four of the VCs are already facing vigilance probe or charges of financial irregularities," said an official of the higher education department who did not wish to be named. He stressed that it will be natural for the government to object to their names.

According to education department sources, the list includes the names of six VCs whose appointments were quashed by Patna High Court last month.

They are Shambhu Nath Singh (Patna University), Bimal Kumar (BR Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur), Arvind Kumar Pandey (Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University), Ram Vinod Singh (JP University, Chhapra), Arun Kumar (BN Mandal University, Madhepura) and Mohammed Shamsuzzoha (Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic and Persian University, Patna.)

"Apart from the issue of no consultation between the government and Raj Bhavan over the appointments of six VCs and four pro-VCs, many of the VCs whose names again have been included in the list face vigilance inquiry and other charges and it is unlikely that the government departments (read vigilance) will okay the names," the source said.

Under the scanner, the sources said, are Shambhu Nath Singh and Arun Kumar. Arvind Pandey is facing three cases of financial irregularities and Bimal Kumar, prior to his appointment at BBA Bihar University, Muzaffarpur, was accused of financial irregularities.

A senior officer of the education department said on condition of anonymity: "Three days ago, the education department received a list of names sent by Raj Bhavan from the chief minister secretariat. The department, after going through the list, sent it back to the CM's secretariat. From there it will be despatched to the vigilance department."

The teaching fraternity says it is worried by the regular tussle between the centres of power. A senior teacher of Patna University said: "The strife between Raj Bhavan and the government is not a healthy sign for higher education as functioning of universities is hampered."

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