CHENNAI: Uncertainty prevails a fortnight ahead of University of Madras’s key half-yearly academic council meet.
Secretary of higher education A Karthik, who is to chair the meet, has been on leave for more than 10 days. The agenda for the meeting, to be approved by Karthik, remains undecided, a senior official said. Many important academic files too await approval.
The 235-member council, scheduled to meet on February 25, rules on issues like board of studies, introduction of new courses and syllabus, regulations for affiliated colleges and faculty members and plagiarism charges. In normal circumstances, the meet is chaired by the vice-chancellor, but the post has been vacant for more than a year, with a three-member committee headed by Karthik discharging duties.
“Before the academic council meets, a syndicate meeting has to be convened. Many critical issues for the council have to be debated in that syndicate meeting and placed in the agenda. But even that has not been decided due the secretary’s absence,” he said.
There is also a possibility of the meet being postponed.
“We are examining all possibilities to ensure council meet takes place as planned,” registrar David Jawahar said.
Issues resolved at the council meet are taken to the senate.
A few syndicate members said the council met twice since the last VC demitted office. The secretary has not chaired it even once. Even the VC convener committee has not met since being constituted in January last year. “This displays the interest taken by bureaucrats in the academic issues of our higher education institutes,” a member said.
The university statute says the agenda for the council meet is to be circulated to members 30 days ahead, but, in reality, it is sent only 15 days before the meeting.
All these ‘problems’ are to the absence of a vice-chancellor, the official added.
While media attempts to contact Karthik over phone failed, chief secretary V Girija in a text message said Karthik was on personal leave and the school education secretary was in charge.