The appointment of senior IAS officers as in-charge Vice-Chancellors of universities in the State has exposed the Congress party’s double standards.

The Congress-led government, which on Tuesday issued orders appointing IAS officers as VCs, has triggered a debate of sorts, with many pointing out that it was the same Congress that had raised objections when the previous BRS government appointed senior IAS officers as incharge VCs in 2019. Several Congress leaders had then said that the State government should have appointed regular Vice Chancellors with full charge instead of appointing in-charge VCs. Senior leader Gudur Narayan Reddy, who later switched sides to the BJP, had also alleged that the then Chief Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao, had assigned the job to IAS officers instead of roping in experienced academicians to lead the universities. The Congress had also accused the BRS government of not according to higher education, especially universities, citing the appointment of IAS officers as in-charge VCs.

News reports from 2019 quoted Congress leaders accusing the then Chief Minister of treating universities as “mere departments which could be handled by IAS officers on a part-time basis”. “The Vice-Chancellor of a university needs to handle many academic and affiliated college-related affairs on a daily basis. Therefore, an IAS officer,

who is already handling other key departments in the government, cannot do justice with the new assignment,” they had said then.

Even the BJP had come out against the BRS government’s move, with senior BJP leader Krishnasagar Rao said Chandrashekhar Rao should have initiated the process to appoint full-fledged Vice-Chancellors in advance instead of appointing in-charge VCs.

The term of nine regular Vice Chancellors in different universities had concluded on Tuesday. The government, which constituted a university-wise search committee for selection of regular VCs, issued orders appointing senior IAS officers. Among those appointed were MA&UD Principal Secretary Dana Kishore, who was appointed as incharge VC of Osmania University; BC Principal Secretary Burra Venkatesham, who was appointed incharge VC of JNTU; Women and Child Welfare Secretary Vakati Karuna as in-charge VC of Kakatiya University and Principal Secretary (Energy) S A M Rizvi, who was made in-charge VC of Dr BR Ambedkar Open University, to mention a few.

Soon after the appointment on Tuesday, the SFI Telangana State Committee condemned the appointment of IAS officers as incharge VCs. The Committee demanded the State government to appoint regular VCs immediately, besides asking the government to explain the reasons behind appointing IAS officers as incharge VCs.
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