Education Pioneer no more

Anuj Kumar Dhan is recognised for more than one achievement. Even his detractors will not disagree over the fact that the former Ranchi University (RU) vice-chancellor, who passed away here this morning, had been an outstanding academician, an excellent orator and a prolific writer.

But it is his love for the state and the pioneering changes that he brought in the education system that will be the most remembered.

“Dhanji had been the first person from Jharkhand to head RU. He was instrumental in opening up the tribal regional language department between 1979-80 with which I was associated later. His love for Jharkhand was immense,” recalled Ram Dayal Munda, also a former vice-chancellor of RU.

“I cannot believe it all ended so quickly,” Munda lamented.

It was during his second stint as the vice-chancellor of the university, 1980 to 1984, that he had pioneered the appointment of more than 200 teachers, thereby filling up the vacant posts. S.S. Akhtar, spokesperson, RU, pointed out that after 1984, the next major appointments came after a gap of more than a decade.

“It was during his last stint as the VC that Dhanji ensured the visit of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to inaugurate the Indian Science Congress at Ranchi in 1984,” Akhtar added.

Remembering Dhan, former RU controller of examination Shahid Hassan recalled how the former VC had displayed extraordinary managerial skills in his first stint as the university head.

A strict disciplinarian himself, he saw to it that sessions were regularised and discipline enforced throughout the university.

A former member of the All India Congress Committee, Dhan had associations with many a body like the Union Public Service Commission, Jharkhand Academic Council, the Writers’ Guild of India to name only a few. He has also held the post of the vice-chancellor of Northeast University and Patna University.

At the time of his demise, Dhan had been a permanent invitee of the Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee.

…..RUDRA BISWAS

This Article was published in The Telegraph, Ranchi: 16 Feb 2006

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