October 3, 2005

Caught In Red Tape,Academic Initiatives Gather Dust

Chairs just sit pretty at BU

Caught In Red Tape,Academic Initiatives Gather Dust

By Seethalakshmi S/TNN

Bangalore: Empty “Chairs” are making a lot of noise in Bangalore University. Instituted in the names of eminent personalities, these Chairs have given rise to a lot of criticism.
   The noise became louder after chief minister N Dharam Singh recently announced the D M Nanjundappa Chair in BU, without realising that all the Chairs, including those named after T P Kailasam, Kempegowda and Sir M Visvesvaraya (ISRO), have been caught in a tangle of red tape.
n The T P Kailasam Chair for research on Kannada drama has been inactive for the past 20 years! The promised Rs 3 lakh from the government is yet to fill the BU coffers.
n The Sir MV ISRO Chair, mooted by former ISRO chairman K Kasturirangan during the Indian Science Congress in 2003, is pending clearance from the government. This, despite ISRO releasing Rs 5 lakh to BU and waiting for research on space sciences to take off.
n The Uttar Pradesh-Madhya
Pradesh (UPMP) government Chair to promote Hindi is gathering dust.
n The Kempegowda Chair to study the style and regime of Kempegowda’s time was set up four years ago, but the government approved the statute only last month to commence work.
   What is common in all the four cases is indifference and lack of coordination between agencies. After two years, the government wanted to know when and where did the former ISRO chief make the announcement for a Chair!
   An angry BCC stopped funding the Kempegowda Chair after it donated Rs 18 lakh for two years, solely because the university had not utilised the funds. But BU vice-chancellor M S Thimmappa told the Sunday Times of India: “We cannot commence the research unless the state government approves the statutes. So, even if funds are released, the university’s hands are tied. We have written to the BCC to resume its funding, as the statutes have been approved.’’
   Till then, they will be empty Chairs.

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