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Jamia Millia Islamia offers honorary post to suspended MSU professor

Professor Shivaji Panikkar is in the news again. The M S University teacher,who was suspended following the Faculty of Fine Arts controversy involving a student named Chandramohan...

Written by Shubhlakshmi Shukla | Vallabh Vidyanagar (anand) |
January 29, 2009 12:56:24 am

Shivaji Panikkar was suspended after a controversy over artwork of a student

Professor Shivaji Panikkar is in the news again. The M S University (MSU) teacher,who was suspended following the Faculty of Fine Arts controversy involving a student named Chandramohan,has been appointed as the Professor Chair in Indian Arts at the Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA),Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI),Delhi recently.

The Executive Council of JMI took this decision nearly 10 days ago and an official communiqué for the appointment will be mailed to Prof Panikkar in a few days,said the varsity authorities.

Meanwhile,Prof Panikkar has shown his willingness to take up the offer. The reason: it is an honorary job and does not require him to resign from MSU.

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Prof Mushirul Hasan,Vice-Chancellor,JMI,said: “Executive Council is the highest body in the varsity. It is this body that has taken the. Prof Panikkar has been appointed to this post due to his contribution in the field of art history and aesthetics.”

Prof Hasan told Newsline over telephone,“Due to administrative delays,the appointment letter is yet to be sent. It will be done shortly.”

Responding to a query about his appointment,Prof Panikkar said: “JMI has informed me about my appointment. It is an honorary post that requires no resignation from MSU. The post demands only a few days for delivering lectures on a monthly basis at the varsity. But I will look into MSU rules and regulations before taking any decision.”

Prof Panikkar,who was suspended in July 2007 by the MSU Syndicate for his stand on the Chandramohan issue,is still hopeful about settling his case at the Gujarat University Tribunal Court.

However,the varsity has been delaying the matter for many months now. Nearly two weeks ago,Prof Panikkar was also offered a job of Director of M F Hussain’s Museum in Delhi,but he could not take it up due to the pending case and his suspension.

Projects hit by Panikkar’s suspension
Sir Ratan Tata Trust had given a grant of Rs 83.85 lakh to the Department of Art History and Aesthetics headed by Prof Panikkar for an ‘Academic Enhancement Support Programme’. He was the coordinator of the three-year project,which was to begin in April 2007. MSU Syndicate had complimented him on the issue. But after his suspension,the project came to a standstill. Officials said it was due to his credentials that the project was given to the department.

The department with Prof Panikkar as head was allotted Rs 41 lakh by the UGC for its contribution to fine arts. It was to be utilised in a phased manner from 2005 to 2010. S K Kushwaha was later made the in-charge after his exit.

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