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Congress says Rajasthan University V-C JP Singhal appointed due to proximity to RSS, questions role of Gov

Congress leader Pratap Singh Khachariawas likened Singhal’s appointment to that of FTII chairperson Gajendra Chauhan.

Written by Mahim Pratap Singh | Jaipur |
August 7, 2015 10:08:57 am

The recent appointment of academic J P Singhal as the Vice-Chancellor of Rajasthan University has kicked up a storm with the Congress threatening to move the high court against the appointment, which it termed ‘politically motivated’. According to Congress, Singhal did not fulfill the eligibility criteria for vice-chancellors prescribed by the UGC in 2010 and was only made the V-C owing to his proximity to Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.

Congress leader Pratap Singh Khachariawas likened Singhal’s appointment to that of FTII chairperson Gajendra Chauhan, raising questions over the appointment order issued by Governor Kalyan Singh. The Raj Bhawan order adressed the new V-C as Dr J P Singhal, which was “a false claim”, the Congress said. On the other hand, the Governor’s office refuted the allegations with the spokesperson for Raj Bhawan maintaining that all rules were followed while issuing the order.

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“The name that we received from the search committee was Dr J P Singhal. There has been no change made to that,” Raj Bhawan sources said. The University search panel, Khachariawas claimed, forwarded five names to the Governor for consideration, four of them being experienced professors.

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“And yet, the Governor cleared only Singhal’s name, who is neither a PhD, nor has been a professor for 10 years as stated in the UGC guidelines and adopted by the Rajasthan University constitution in 2011,” he told The Indian Express. “After appointment of unqualified Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairperson, it is another case of saffronisation of education by BJP . While that is a niche drama institute with a handful of students, this is one of the oldest and biggest universities of the country.

The future of thousands of students is at stake,” he said. The Rajasthan government press statement notifying the appointment too prefixed “Dr.” before Singhal’s name. Interestingly, Singhal himself has been quoted in the local media admitting he did not hold a PhD Degree. The Congress claims that since Singhal did not hold a PhD degree, the appointment order needed to be cancelled. On Wednesday, a Congress delegation marched to the Raj Bhawan seeking an appointment with Governor Kalyan Singh.

Not succeeding in meeting Singh, the delegation submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Raj Bhawan staff. “The Governor has to answer. If he does not break his silence, we will be forced to go to the high court against the appointment,” Khachariawas said. When asked about the Congress allegations over phone, Singhal said he would revert after 30 minutes. However, he subsequently did not respond to calls and text messages sent by The Indian Express.

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