In a surprising move, Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir has been appointed as the new Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, according to an internal circular issued by the Registrar’s office, JMI.
The official circular dated April 29, 2014 reads:
“The President of India, in his capacity as the Visitor of the university and in exercise of powers conferred upon him by the Statute 2(1) of Jamia Millia Islamia Act 1988, has been pleased to appoint Prof. Talat Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University, Srinagar as the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia.”
Prof. Ahmad will be taking charge over from Prof. S.M. Sajid who has served as the officiating Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia since Najeeb Jung vacated the post in July 2013 owing to his appointment as Lt. Governor of Delhi.
Before being appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Kashmir University in 2011, Prof Talat Ahmad served as a professor of Geology at University of Delhi.
Prof. Ahmad’s appointment as the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia comes as a surprise to both University of Kashmir and Jamia Millia Islamia because among all the names that were doing the rounds for the post of vice-chancellor, Prof. Talat’s name was never mentioned; and for good reasons too because as recently as February 2014, Prof. Talat Ahmad’s tenure as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Kashmir had been officially extended by three years. [Link]
Considering the largely held belief that usually someone from the non-academic circles is appointed for the post of vice-chancellor at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, this move of bringing in someone from the world of academia will likely be seen as a welcome step by most people.
However, as far as student campus politics is concerned, Prof. Ahmad’s appointment doesn’t bode well, because just like Najeeb Jung at Jamia, Prof. Ahmad too continued the ban on students’ union at Kashmir University during his tenure as vice-chancellor.