Amid a raging controversy over an extension given to Goa University (GU) Vice-Chancellor Satish Shetye, an Executive Council member termed as “illegal” the move to extend the V-C’s term through an ordinance. A social activist, meanwhile, accused the state’s former chief minister, Manohar Parrikar, of allegedly influencing the ordinance decision in the V-C’s favour.
After Governor Mridula Sinha’s refusal to accept GU Executive Council’s demand to extend Shetye’s term by two years, the Goa government issued an ordinance Saturday to extend the V-C’s stay in office by one more year. The Governor gave her nod to the ordinance on the same day.
“The state government did not even call for an emergency meeting, instead they drafted an ordinance and sent it to offices of Cabinet ministers…. the urgency to retain the V-C by passing an ordinance, it is unprecedented,” said GU Executive Council (EC) member Peter Ronald DeSouza.
A former director of the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Shetye was appointed as GU Vice-Chancellor in 2012, at the age of 62. He was set to retire in October at the age of 65.
However, the university’s 16-member Executive Council decided to increase the age of retirement for the V-C’s post to 70 years to allow Shetye to continue in the position.
Meanwhile, social activist and advocate Aires Roadrigues filed a petition before the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court seeking its intervention in the matter. In his petition, he argued that the government had trampled the autonomy and independence of the Goa University to benefit a specific individual.
Advocate General Atmaram, however, refused to comment on the matter. Shetye could not be reached due to his “busy schedule”.