Vice-Chancellor of West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Prof Ishwara Bhat has been offered the role of Vice-Chancellor of Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) Patna, as first reported by Legally India.
Current CNLU Vice-Chancellor Prof AR Lakshminath confirmed to Bar & Bench that an order offering Prof Bhat the post has been prepared.
“The notification asks him to join as Vice-Chancellor as soon as possible. The moment he accepts it, a notice will be published on the University website.”
Prof Bhat also confirmed that he had applied for the post, pursuant to a notification calling for applications published in January this year. Stating that he was yet to receive a copy of the order and that “certain formalities” are yet to be completed, it seems that Prof Bhat is set to leave NUJS after a rather tumultuous tenure at the helm.
Dissatisfaction among students and faculty alike over the way the University was run can be traced back to 2013, when petitions were filed calling for the urgent need to examine the falling academic standards at NUJS. Also during Prof Bhat’s tenure, former Registrar Surajit Chandra Mukhopadhyay was ousted after he was found guilty of mismanagement of University funds.
Despite several concerns being raised regarding faculty appointments and infrastructure, Prof Bhat was cleared for a second consecutive term as VC in September 2016. Last year, under growing pressure from the student body, and alumni, NUJS constituted a Review Commission for the first time in its history.
When asked the reason behind his imminent shift to CNLU, Prof Bhat said,
“There [at CNLU], age of retirement is beyond 65 years. At NUJS, it is up to 65 years.”
Prof Bhat was appointed as VC of NUJS back in 2011. Before that, he was at the University of Mysore from 1984 to November 2011, where he was appointed Dean of Faculty of Law for three terms and Acting Vice-Chancellor for four months. He had also taught in Karnatak University Dharwad and MK Law College Hassan from 1979 to 1984.
Prof Lakshminath, whose tenure as VC of CNLU expires on March 19, said,
“I have been offered three of four academic positions, but I am yet to decide. It seems that they do not want me to retire!”