The Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development has initiated the process for appointing new Vice Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC). The post has been vacant since March 2017. Professor H. Debaraj held the position of Vice Chairman until March 2017.
Recently, HRD Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar scrapped the selection committee that was given the responsibility of shortlisting the names for the post of Vice Chairman. Mr. KK Sharma – Secretary to Higher Education, headed the selection committee. The selection committee was scrapped after the HRD Ministry relied on its recommendations for almost six months. Therefore, the government has re-advertised the post, and the process of appointment has been started afresh.
The new advertisement issued by the government for the appointment of new UGC Vice Chairman has set a month’s deadline to accept applications. Currently, UGC is functioning without a regular Chairman and Vice Chairman. Mr. VS Chauhan, who is also the member of UGC, has been serving as the Acting Chairman to UGC.
After the retirement of Mr. Ved Prakash as UGC Chairman on April 3, 2017, the HRD Ministry had not initiated the process of appointing new Chairperson.
The government must appoint the new Chairperson to UGC within six months after the retirement of former Chairperson. However, Mr. VS Chauhan has been acting as officiating head to UGC for the past nine months. According to norms, Vice Chairman takes charge as Chairperson, in case of a casual vacancy. The position of UGC Vice Chairman is also vacant. The government is currently under pressure to appoint Chairman and Vice Chairman for UGC as early as possible.