V-C didn’t make Parsi prof HOD because of his religion: VNSGU Syndicate to minority panel

The Syndicate members had also raised the issue of appointment of Prof. Timol during the agenda meetings held on June 25 and July 10 at the varsity. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Syndicate members of Veer Narmad South Gujarat University (VNSGU) here on Monday sent a letter to National Minority Commission, alleging that the vice-chancellor (VC) has not appointed a senior professor as the Head of mathematics Department because of his “caste or religion”.

In the letter, the Syndicate members alleged that V-C Dr Shivendra Gupta has done “injustice” to professor Dr Munir Timol, a Parsi, by not appointing him as the HOD of mathematics despite the latter being the seniormost. The Syndicate members who have signed the letter are Sanjay Desai, Dr Mahendra Chauhan, Dr Ghansyam Rawal and Kirit Patel.

“We believe that Dr Timol has been denied of his statutory right because of his caste/religion, which the vice-chancellor may be prejudiced against. Hence, we request you to give justice immediately in the interest of the harmonious atmosphere, which prevails in our university among all caste, creed and religion since its inception.”

The letter was sent by Sanjay Desai to chairman of National Minority Commission, New Delhi. The letter stated that the post of the Head of Department of mathematics at the university has been lying vacant since June 15.

Desai told The Indian Express: “We have earlier written to the Governor, State Education Minister and education department secretary on this issue, but did not get satisfactory answers. Seeing no way ahead, we decided to approach the National Minority Commission.”

He stated in the letter that the university’s statute 293 provided for the appointment of HOD at VNSGU. It states that syndicate members have powers to appoint HOD of any department, keeping in mind the seniority. Desai said that Prof. Timol is the only eligible candidate for the post.

The Syndicate members had also raised the issue of appointment of Prof. Timol during the agenda meetings held on June 25 and July 10 at the varsity.

Reacting to the allegation against him, V-C Gupta told The Indian Express: “We have already formed a committee to sort out the issue of (appointment) of HOD of mathematics. There are certain issues behind not appointing him (Dr Timol) as a regular head. This is a legitimate case, which is being probed by the committee.”

The four-member committee is headed by Pro V-C Dr Bhasker Rawal, Dr Pruthul Desai (PT Science college principal), Dr N D Patel (HOD of chemistry department of VNSGU), and Prof Mayur Chauhan (government committee senate members).

Dr Timol has been working as a professor of mathematics at the university since the last 35 years.

Commenting on the controversy, Timol said, “The university runs on rules and there is nobody above rules. I am the seniormost professor in the mathematics department having an experience of 35 years. I have not demanded the HOD post, but some of my colleagues think that I am eligible for the post. If the university gives me the post of HOD, I will accept it, and if not I will not keep any grudges as there is only one-and-half-year left for my retirement.”