Mangaluru, Dec 09, 2017 : High drama at Mangalore University over the government replacing a Professor of History with a Professor of Civil Engineering as the Registrar (Administration) reached a flash point with the latter ‘assuming charge’ by occupying the chair of the former as the incumbent was not in office on Friday.
Sources at the university told The Hindu that B.S. Nagendra Prakash, a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE), under Bangalore University, with the Government Order on hand and who had been waiting at the university guesthouse since December 5 to take charge arrived at the office at about 11.30 a.m. and “assumed office”. Later, he conducted an informal meeting with officials of the office.
The incumbent K.M. Lokesh, a professor of history at Mangalore University, who learnt that Mr. Prakash had occupied his chair even before he could reach the office stayed away without raising a furore, sources said.
Sources said that Mr. Lokesh who usually attended the office before 10.30 a.m. did not turn up till about 11.30 a.m. Mr. Prakash turned up there at about 11.30 a.m. and “assumed office” as neither the Registrar (Administration) nor the Vice-Chancellor were in their offices.
The staff members were in total confusion as Mr. Lokesh had not demitted his office as Registrar (Administration) reportedly on instruction by K. Byrappa, Vice-Chancellor, who is away from the university campus since the afternoon of October 5.
The government issued the order appointing Mr. Prakash to the post on December 1. Mr. Lokesh had taken charge in June, 2016.
Sources said that Mr. Byrappa who left the campus on Tuesday afternoon owing to official engagements’ did not return till Friday. As December 9 being the second Saturday in a month is a holiday, the Vice-Chancellor, who should take a call on such situation, is likely to return on Monday.
They said the V-C lad left the office on Tuesday afternoon after conducting the meeting of the Syndicate in the forenoon. Mr. Prakash had been waiting for Mr. Byrappa since Tuesday afternoon to take charge.
Mr. Lokesh told The Hindu on Friday that he had instructions from the V-C to hand over charge in his (Vice-Chancellor’s) presence.
The government order has not specified the duration to which the appointment of Mr. Prakash has been made. It has asked Mr. Lokesh to return to the parent department.
Speculations were rife on campus over who the real Registrar (Administration) is, as Mr. Lokesh had not been relieved of his duties from Friday. There were also speculations over the V-C not taking a call on the issue since Tuesday. Mr. Byrappa was not available to comment on Friday.
Sources said that Friday’s development was an unprecedented one in the 38-year-old university.