Published On: Mon, Apr 18th, 2011

Prof. Jayant Narlikar refuses seat in UGC search committee

EduShine Academic Search

Renowned astrophysicist Professor Jayant Narlikar has declined to be a part of the HRD committee set up to identify new chairperson of the University Grants Commission. Official sources have confirmed the development adding that Narlikar kas turned down the job due to “Pre-occupation”. The search panel constituted by the Human Resource Development Ministry for identifying a chairperson for the University Grants Commission (UGC), has been unable to meet as one Narlikar has declined the offer.

However, the three others approached by the Ministry – Madhava Menon and Goverdhan Mehta (both academicians) and Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) — have agreed to be members of the committee which is expected to be notified soon.

HRD Ministry initiated the process of looking for a chairperson after its hopes of an early establishment of the proposed of National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) remained unfulfilled with the Bill awaiting Cabinet clearance.

The Bill proposes to take over all existing regulatory bodies, including the UGC and the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

The charge of the UGC at present is with its Vice-Chairperson Professor Ved Prakash as per the UGC Act, 1956. The Ministry delayed the search process after Professor Sukhadeo Thorat’s term ended in February as it intended to introduce the NCHER Bill, 2011 in Parliament during the Budget session, but could not do so because of the ongoing turf war between the HRD Ministry and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the jurisdiction of medical education. Despite several attempts from the Prime Minister’s Office to arrive at a compromise, the issue remained unresolved.

[Source: The Hindu]