Wanted: VCs of vision and integrity

Apropos of Dr Vikram Chadha’s article Time to restore the majesty of Vice-Chancellors (Perspective, Jan 23), it is not every VC who can recall his experience with the good humour of Dr Clark Kerr. On being obliged to leave California University, he said, “I am ending as I began — fired with enthusiasm”. Amongst us, most former VCs have only two styles when they recall their term of office, namely, to be boastful or bitter, or both in alteration. These do not yield a reliable picture of the university situation in the country.

The UGC or a credible independent agency should sponsor a dispassionate study on the kind of VCs we have had in our university system since its inception. The study could include some survey of the manner of their choice and the considerations that seem to have weighed with the appointing authorities in making the choice. The circumstances in which VCs some times leave before their time could also be studied. Apart from the guidance that the study might provide for the governance of universities, it would also provide a good compendium of entertainment.

For healthy and orderly growth, a university should, during the tenure of every VC, make preparation for the succession. When an appointment is made, there is no effort to promote a sense of continuity. Many VCs consider it their mission to undo whatever their predecessors had been doing. In this effort they receive zealous support from sycophants.



A university may be run as fiefdom, but it cannot be run as a conspiracy. A university can be developed and improved only through a process of self-regulation. We need learned men of vision and integrity as VCs.

English Dept.,
D.N. College, Hisar


Nowadays, the purpose of those sitting on high offices is not to “advance the frontiers of knowledge” and provide a conducive atmosphere to researchers and teachers but to muster wealth through fair and foul means and to please their political masters. The writer has forcefully reiterated that only a person with intellect, wisdom and sensibilities should be appointed as the Vice-Chancellor.

Sadly, those occupying these coveted posts project themselves as VVIPs and remain inaccessible as most students find it arduous to approach them easily. Yes, VCs should adopt a non-partisan, objective and unbiased approach while dealing with the problems of universities. In most universities, very often a ‘Laxman Rekha’ is drawn between VCs and students/ employees. Since VCs have a soft corner for a particular political party, they address the problems of a particular student group, keeping the rest at arm’s length by treating them as pariahs.

It is time the majesty of Vice-Chancellor was restored. Clearly, the onus lies on the selection committee and the teaching community.

Hamirpur (HP)


I agree with the writer’s suggestion that only dedicated and enlightened educationists with proven ability and impeccable credentials should be appointed as VCs. Unfortunately, the recommendations made by the Education Commission (1964-66), the UGC Committee on the Appointment of Vice-Chancellors in Indian Universities (1992-93) and the Kothari Commission have been ignored in this regard. Instead, VCs are selected by politicians without consideration of the candidates’ academic worth, administrative competence and moral stature. These appointees are destroying the image and reputation of the universities.

The Vice-Chancellor should be a person who can create a congenial atmosphere for work and boost the morale of his dedicated colleagues and juniors, being non-partisan and unbiased.


Bihar’s crumbling democratic edifice

Apropos of Chanchal Sarkar’s column entitled Democracy a bad word in Bihar (Sunday Oped, Jan 23), he has aptly examined the state of affairs in Bihar. It looks as if the entire edifice of democracy is crumbling in this unfortunate state.

Owing to low literacy level, people are migrating to states like Punjab, Haryana, Orissa and West Bengal in search of some employment. In their own state, they can hardly get a job. The government is least bothered about them. The result: the people migrate to other states to make their both ends meet with dignity and honour.

There is total lawlessness in Bihar. Criminals and mafia dons are ruling the roost. Apparently, the police officers are like puppets in the hands of the ruling party politicians.

There is rampant corruption in the government offices including educational institutions. The state of affairs in some universities is very bad. How will they ensure quality education when there is corruption?

A.K.SOBTI, Naya Nangal

Muslim mystique

Nirupama Dutt, in Muslim mystique in Indian films (Saturday Extra, Jan 22) rightly highlights some Indian movies that have been made against the backdrop of the Muslim ethos. It was not the queen who killed her husband accidentally in Pukar (1939), directed by the late Sohrab Modi. It was a washerwoman’s husband on whom the empress Noorjehan inflicted wounds per chance. The grief-stricken washerwoman demands justice from emperor Jehangir and the latter lives up to his reputation by upholding his responsibility to his nation over his beloved better-half.

In yet another incident in the same movie, a Rajput warrior, Mangal Singh kills his beloved’s brother and severely injures her father. Mangal Singh’s father, a Rajput to the core, asks the emperor Jehangir to stand by his doctrine, ‘life for life’ and Mangal Singh is sentenced to death. Such was the administration of justice by the great Mughal king.

Subhash C. Tuli, Karnal


The Muslim way of life, especially Urdu language and its poetry, have played a major role in the success of many a Hindi film. Although Mughal-e-Azam is unparalleled in Hindi cinema, Mere Mehboob and Umrao Jaan were great hits with the masses as both were laced with lyrical poetry.

Love legends like Heer Ranja, Sohni Mahiwal, Laila Majnu and Shireen Farhad have been made repeatedly, a mark of their popular appeal. Nikah in the 1980s brought into public focus the social aspect of Talaaq in Muslim society. These movies have been entertainers as well as social reformers.

H.S. Sandhu, Panchkula

A matter of pain

The article on K.L. Saigal, King of pain’’ (Spectrum, Jan 16) brought memories of Saigal alive. It has become a ritual to remember the great singer on his anniversary every year. However, it is still a matter of pain that way back in the 1950s a big plot was purchased opposite Jalandhar Doordarshan with the help of film artistes who performed to raise money for this purpose.

Nothing substantial has been done and Saigal’s memories are only fortified by the outer walls that have been erected and a signboard. The members of the society and the government should take the initiative to save this as a heritage in Saigal’s memory. 

M.P.S. Randhawa,

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