Published: 05th June 2021
Prof Appa Rao Podile to step down as UoH VC on June 7 after six years of service
It was during Professor Podile’s tenure in 2016 that Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide, triggering nationwide protests
Professor Appa Rao Podile will demit office as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on June 7, 2021. He will hand over charge to his successor Professor Arun Agarwal, Pro Vice-Chancellor 1, and the senior-most professor in the university currently.
Professor Podile had requested the Ministry of Education in March to relieve him from the position. Based on his request, the approval from the President, who visits all central universities and appoints their vice-chancellors, was received recently. He was appointed VC of the varsity on September 21, 2015, for a period of five years and granted one year’s extension in September 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He is a senior professor in the Department of Plant Sciences in the School of Life Sciences at UoH.
It was during Professor Podile’s tenure in 2016 that Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula committed suicide, triggering nationwide protests. His death garnered attention from national political leaders such as Congress' Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and many others, who visited the campus to protest against the university authorities.
However, sources from the university reportedly told the media that Professor Podile was asked to leave following a long extension sought by him. “Such a long extension is not granted to any VC and a new VC will have to be appointed,” said a faculty member, as reported by the Times of India.
During his tenure, the university attained the Institution of Eminence status and continued to maintain its high rank among the higher education institutions in the country.