The oft-vacant and underutilized post of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi (DU) finally found a new exclusive occupant in the form of top anthropologist Prof. Pooran Chand Joshi.
In the last few years, the Pro-Vice-Chancellorship of the University of Delhi (DU) has suffered from a lack of perceived significance, with recent postholders either being temporary appointments or occupying the post as an additional charge. But a revival seems to be on the cards with the administration officially announcing the appointment of Professor Pooran Chand Joshi, himself a DU academic, to the post on 28th June 2020.
Born in 1956, Prof. Joshi is a native of Almora, Uttarakhand. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Anthropology (1975), an M.Sc. degree in Social Anthropology (1977), M.Phil. degree in social anthropology (1979) and a Ph.D. degree in medical anthropology (1985), all four from the University of Delhi. After receiving his doctorate, he proceeded to teach at H.N.B Garhwal University, Srinagar and then at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, after which he joined the Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi in 2003, where he is currently designated as the Professor of Social Anthropology.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor is one rung below the Vice-Chancellor in the university administration hierarchy and is expected to act as his deputy. Like the VC, the Pro-VC’s functions are both academic and administrative, and the latter is supposed to take over in the former’s absence.
Earlier, the university administration had received considerable flak for its inability to provide permanence as well as exclusivity to the post. In fact, at one point, in 2019, a single person – Professor Jatin Khurana – handled additional charges of three posts simultaneously – Pro-VC, South Campus Director, and Dean of Colleges.
“It is certainly good to see the university officially appoint Prof. Joshi to this post, seemingly for a considerable length of time. Hopefully, we shall see some stability in the post, and consequently, some smoothening in the administrative affairs which have unfortunately been rife with sluggishness. Though I don’t know him personally, Prof. Joshi has a respectable reputation as an academic among the teaching community, and is known for his pragmatic and scholarly demeanor.”, an associate professor of the varsity told DU Beat, on the condition of anonymity.
The decision was announced through a public notice posted on DU’s official website, dated 28 June, and signed by the Registrar, stating that the appointment was valid with immediate effect.
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