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Bizarre! Pharmacy Professor made HOD Computer Science at KU
1/23/2022 11:54:44 PM

Early Times Report

Jammu, Jan 23: In University of Kashmir administrative anarchy seems to have become the order of the day. In a bizarre move which has brought university authorities in the line of fire, the University administration has appointed a professor of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department as head of the Computer Sciences Department. It's like a carpenter doing mason’s work.
According to an order, copy of which is with Early Times, Prof Zulfikar Zulfikar Ali Bhat, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, shall function as Head, Department of Computer Sciences, in addition to his own duties, till further orders, relieving Prof Mohd Arif Wani from the charge of headship.
“This order shall have immediate effect,” the order issued by the Assistant Registrar, Teaching Wing on January 12, reads.
Sources said the need to appoint a new HOD Computer Sciences arose after Prof Mohd Arif Wani, a Harvard-return professor, who has served as Head of the Department for two terms lasting six years, declined to continue as head citing “lack of administrative support to the department’s affairs.”
Prof Zulfikar, who belongs to an entirely different discipline, was made head of despite the fact that the Department of Computer Science has several permanent faculty members, including an Associate Professor, several Assistant Professors and Scientists (of level D) on the rolls at present.
Sources said the Associate Professor in the Department also declined the assignment to head the department citing he has applied for voluntary retirement from the university services.
A tussle between teachers designated as Assistant Professors and those designated as Scientists has come to the fore in the department, the sources said.
However, they said, that instead of resolving the tussle and coming up with a solution to it, the University administration took a bizarre decision of appointing a professor from a different stream as the HOD.
Sources said that while a section of officers in the university administration wanted to favour an Assistant Professor (of Selection Grade Pay of 8000) to become the HOD, one top administrator wanted a Scientist D (of Grade Pay of 7600) to become to HOD owing to his “close proximity” with the top administrator.
This Scientist D is incidentally heading a teachers’ body on the campus and has been reportedly pressing the university administration hard to redesignate him as Associate Professor despite the fact that no rules, regulations or guidelines, either from UGC or any other body, provide for such a redesignation in any part of the country.
Several Assistant Professors have been openly opposing any such move, threatening to resign if such a redesignation is done in any clandestine manner.
“If we go by logic and norms, the charge of HOD should have been handed over to the Selection Grade Assistant Professor (having a GP of 8000 at present) in view of his seniority. But it seems that because the said Scientist D has helped the University administration to sail through many crises in the past in the garb of leading a teachers’ body, a bizarre decision has been allowed to prevail,” said a group of KU teachers wishing anonymity for fear of administrative action.
Pertinent to mention that many Assistant Professors are presently heading several departments in the campus as Coordinators. “It is an established practice in the University that in the absence of professors and associate professors, even assistant professors can head departments as coordinators. How can a professor from pharmacy do justice with computer sciences? What kind of a bad precedent are the university authorities setting?” the teachers asked, urging the Chancellor LG Manoj Sinha to order revocation of the HOD Computer Science order immediately.
Sources said in case of an extreme exigency owing to its deliberate failure to resolve issues, the University administration should have handed over charge of HOD to someone from Electronics Department as against Pharmacy Department which is totally irrelevant to the discipline.
This is not the first time that the University has come up with such a bizarre order. The KU authorities have already come under fire for appointing a professor of Linguistics as HOD Urdu despite permanent faculty members, including a senior professor, available in the department.
“This HOD-making seems to have become some kind of a personal business at the University, where rules are being flouted to favour blue-eyed candidates,” the sources said.
Recently, as reported exclusively by Early Times, the KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad ordered transfer of a single Assistant Professor from the Department of Biotechnology to Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation (CIRI) along with post without placing the matter before the University Council headed by LG.
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