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Benaras Hindu University (BHU) Hindi professor Sadanand Shahi’s appointment as Bilaspur University vice-chancellor has been stalled amid Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s protests. The ABVP had begun protesting Shahi’s appointment on May 23, saying that he was a proponent of “Left-wing thought”. They alleged that he had backed teaching of a text by ideologue Varavara Rao in BHU and that he had “encouraged the award vapasi gang”. Chhattisgarh governor Balramji Das Tandon’s office said Shahi’s appointment has been stalled on “technical grounds”.
“It has been brought to our notice that Shahi’s application may not fulfil the UGC (University Grants Commission) guidelines. It requires 10 years as a professor, but he is short by a few months,’’ said an official. “Shahi said he has 16 years experience, counting a research scientist post as professorship, but we are not sure about that.’’ The official said a panel will be set up to look into it. “The protests by the ABVP are an entirely different issue, but have no bearing on this.”
Shahi told The Indian Express that a letter that he has received does not state any reason for the stalling. “If I am asked to respond, I will. The research scientist position is something that the UGC started as a professor equivalent position to encourage research. The application asked for professor or professor equivalent in the advertisement,” he said.