The National Law School of India University, Bangalore has officially appointed a new vice-chancellor – Sudhir Krishnaswamy – after two weeks of student-led protests.
The appointment of a new VC has been in limbo despite the earlier VC, Prof R. Venkata Rao, retired on July 31. The students had also alleged that the registrar, who was also one of the applicants for the position, was “obstructing” the appointment process.
The change in the composition of the college’s executive council, which plays an important role in appointing the VC, was also a grave matter of concern among the protestors.
The registrar was also a member of the executive council.
As a result, the college’s student bar association had released two statements on September 15 and September 23 demanding the immediate appointment of Krishnaswamy, the removal of the registrar from the executive council and restoration of law and order in the overall appointment process.
The college’s alumni association also requested that the administration appoint Krishnaswamy.
Meanwhile, the students took out night marches, boycotted their classes for four days and didn’t turn up for the examination that were meant to start on September 23.
A day later, on September 24, the students abruptly called off the protest after the intervention of the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. According to a student, Gopal Sankaranarayan – the university’s alumnus – addressed the students’ concerns with the CJI as well as Justice S.A. Bobde, the head of the appointment committee.
According to The Wire, the judges held that the executive council’s decision was final and the new VC should be appointed after the approval of the chancellor.
“We have been assured by the CJI that the appointment of the VC is final and no changes will take place in this process. Hence, we have called off the protest,” Hamza Tariq, the president of the Students Bar Association told The Wire.
A statement released by the Student Bar Association spoke of the following resolutions:
- The boycott of exams and the peaceful protest is called off with immediate effect.
- The respected members of the Executive Council will face no hindrance of any form at their 89th Meeting and shall be welcomed by the student body wholeheartedly as they discharge their functions.
- Similarly, no act of protest or hindrance shall be undertaken by any student with respect to or at the Annual Convocation. The student body will fully support the successful conduct of the same”
Featured image credit: Kunal Ambasta