When the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre is in the process of replacing Congress-appointed Governors in several states, the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) spokesperson Manish Doshi has been appointed as chairman of the search committee for vice-chancellor of the Saurashtra University.
And he is being assisted in the job by Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor M N Patel and Indian Institute of Teachers’ Education Vice-Chancellor Shashiranjan Yadav, both considered to be close to the political party ruling in the state.
Doshi is a familiar name in the educational circles of Gujarat. Having been associated with the GU for the last 20 years, first as a NSUI activist, then as a member of the university syndicate for several years and now as a senate member, he is known as Congress party’s face in the state’s biggest varsity.
His appointment as head of the committee to select a panel of names for SU vice-chancellor has led to negative reactions in state’s academic circles dominated by those close to the ruling party. Several academicians in the GU expressed surprise over the appointment of Doshi as chairman of the committee to select a panel of names of SU vice-chancellor.
But state Education Department sources said that the state government had no hand in selection of Doshi. Sources said that while two of the members were appointed by the state government, a third one is nominated by the Governor. And the person nominated by the Governor has been traditionally heading the committee.
An official on the condition of anonymity said that Doshi had been nominated on the panel by Governor Kamla Beniwal, a former Congress leader from neighbouring Rajasthan and that was why he was its chairman.
When contacted Doshi said that there was nothing wrong in his appointment under BJP rule.
Doshi has to submit a panel of three names to the state government before October when the term of existing vice chancellor M K Padalia expires.