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Miffed about access to successor-search, GNLU (still) head Bimal Patel removes thorn-in-side registrar

Patel (left) removes Mathew (centre), replaces with Chandra TG
Patel (left) removes Mathew (centre), replaces with Chandra TG

After our report that GNLU Gandhinagar’s outgoing director Dr Bimal Patel had de facto stripped registrar Dr Thomas Mathew of most of his powers, the Ahmedabad Mirror has reported that Patel has now removed Mathew from the post.

We understand that Mathew is continuing in his position as professor of science and technology at GNLU.

Assistant professor Jagadeesh Chandra TG has been appointed as the new registrar, according to the Mirror’s 21 March report, which noted that he is supposedly “yes-man”, while Mathew allegedly tried to keep Patel out of the loop about the proceedings of and “the formation of search panel to look for Patel’s successor”.

Apparently, Patel did not like that. According to an anonymous source cited by the Mirror:

“There was tension between the two even before the process to look for Patel’s successor began. Patel reportedly wanted to control the process of forming the search panel so that he could have a say in the matter. When he was not allowed to do so, he stripped Mathew of most de-facto powers of a registrar.”

We have reached out to Patel for comment or whether anything in the Mirror article required correction. Patel reportedly did not respond to the Mirror for comment either.

Mathew also did not respond to our request for comment.

Who will be next GNLU chief?

The deadline for applications to become GNLU director was 24 December 2018.

We understand that the director search committee (consisting of Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh, Gujarat University vice chancellor Himanshu Pandya and Gujarat high court senior senior advocate Pranav Desai), has reported on its director search process to GNLU’s general council in late January.

It is quite possible, therefore, that a shortlist of candidates may already be finalised.

We had first reported on 3 December that Patel’s 10-year tenure at GNLU had ended, though notification of the director position was already one month late at that point.

Three GNLU staff members then issued a written complaint to the Gujarat high court about Patel not vacating his seat quickly enough, and also complained that Patel had “taken away administrative powers of the registrar [Mathew], the officer responsible for carrying out the process of appointing the new director”, delegating the majority of Mathew’s duties to deputy registrar, Avinash Bhagi.

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