Mysuru: The long wait for the full-time Vice-Chancellor to the prestigious century-old University of Mysore is at last over with the appointment of Mysuru’s own Prof. G. Hemanth Kumar, who is also an alumnus of the University.
On the approval of Governor, who is also the Chancellor of all the State Universities in Karnataka, the Higher Education Department Secretary passed an order yesterday afternoon and appointed Prof. Hemanth Kumar from the Computer Science Department of the University as the 25th Vice-Chancellor.
Last evening, Prof. Hemanth Kumar took charge from in-charge Vice-Chancellor Prof. Aisha M. Sheriff and thus ended the almost 21-month period of the post lying in limbo and in which period the Varsity saw six acting Vice-Chancellors.
The four-member new Search Committee headed by Chairman Prof. K. Narayana Gowda, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences that included Prof. B.C. Chapparwal (Governor’s nominee), former Vice-Chancellor of Indore Health University; Prof. M. Jagadish Kumar (UGC nominee), Vice- Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University and Prof. S. Chandrashekar (University of Mysore nominee) from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, met in Bengaluru on Tuesday and shortlisted three names.
The three names that were shortlisted included Prof. Hemanth Kumar, Prof. Miditala Rani from Political Science Department, University of Mysore and Prof. Hosahatti from Kuvempu University. They were put in a sealed cover and after the approval of Higher Education Minister G.T. Devegowda sent to the Governor’s Office for approval.
After the Governor gave his approval choosing the name of Prof. Hemanth Kumar, the order was passed appointing him as the Vice-Chancellor. It may be recalled that apart from nearly 15-20 aspirants for the post from University of Mysore itself there were nearly 82 Professors in all who had applied for the prestigious post.
A bachelor, Prof. Hemanth Kumar, who hails from Mysuru, belongs to the Most Backward Classes (24th House Telugu Chettiar). Born to Poornima Devi and B.M. Govindaraj couple on May 21, 1959, he did his primary education in Lakshmipuram Government Boys School, JSS High School, PUC in Sarada Vilas College and then got his degrees in B.Sc, B.Ed, M.Sc and Ph.D.
He began his career in 1984 by joining the Department of Studies in Computer Science at the University of Mysore. He went on to become Reader, Professor and also the Head of the Department. He has to his credit 333 papers and produced 20 doctorates. He was the Chief Coordinator of Vijnan Bhavan, President of the Computer Society of India (CSI), Board Member in NET (National Eligibility Test) and SLET (State Level Eligibility Test), Governing Council Member and involved in variousresearch activities.
He has travelled to China, Sudan, Russia and other countries on University assignments and also been a Member of Science Societies and on the Board of several educational institutions.
‘Became VC based on merit, social justice’
“It has given me great joy to be appointed as the 25th Vice-Chancellor of University of Mysore, as I come from an ordinary background and the selection is based on merit and social justice,” said the newly-appointed VC Prof. Hemanth Kumar.
“I am grateful to the Governor, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Higher Education Minister G.T. Devegowda for choosing me. The University is the sixth oldest University in the country and has over 100 years rich history. We have to take the University to greater heights by concentrating on academic and research activities. I will carry every colleague in the University with me to achieve these goals,” he said.
Prof. Hemanth Kumar said that he needs at least three months to plan his objectives for the betterment of the University.
Asked whether he expected to be the VC of University of Mysore, he said that since he had presented nearly 335 national and international papers, he was confident of getting the post.
To another question by the media on the kind of politics in the University and how he was going to handle it, he said that earlier he had planned a Rs.150 crore project for the University. At this time 40 professors had worked with him and he had worked with them in IOE ((Institution of Excellence) and ICD (Information Communication Division) and gained a lot of experience and hence he said that he was very confident of carrying everyone along with him.
Six in-charge VCs in 21 months
After Prof. K.S. Rangappa demitted office on Jan.10, 2017 there have been six in-charge Vice-Chancellors and all the while the University was waiting for a full- time VC. The six who were the in-charge VCs include Prof. Yashwanth Dongre, Prof. Dayanand Mane, Prof. C. Basavaraju, Prof. Ningamma Betsur, Prof.T.K. Umesh and Prof. Aisha M. Sheriff.
Speaking exclusively to Star of Mysore this morning, Prof. Hemanth Kumar, who is also one of the Vice-Presidents of University of Mysore Alumni Association (UMAA), recalled the time when he went with the letter promoting him as the Reader to his mother Poornima Devi, she had wished him luck and blessed him that he will be the Vice-Chancellor of the University one day.
“It is because of her blessings today, I occupy this prestigious chair. She would have been the happiest person today but unfortunately she passed away in a road accident a couple of years ago,” he said in an emotional voice.
“I have great plans for the University and I can achieve it only if I can get the full co-operation of the people in the University. If we work hard then there is no doubt that we will regain the glory that we all saw during the centenary celebrations. There are a lot of unfinished works and I hope to see that they are all completed during my four-year tenure,” he said.
“I am also happy that during my tenure as the 25th Vice-Chancellor, the University will have its 100th Convocation,” said Prof. Hemanth Kumar.