NEW DELHI: Lt General Ata Hasnain(Retired) has finally been given a post in Kashmir, although not exactly what he had hoped for. He has been appointed Chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir in a move that sends out a hard signal to the young students and the faculty.

Hasnain had been lobbying fairly openly for the post of Governor earlier, and now again after the PDP led government fell and Governors rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. However, with this appointment it is clear that he is not in the running for the top post, and either Vora who has a good relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government in Delhi will continue or a person other than Hasnain appointed.

"The President of India in his capacity as the Visitor of the Central University of Kashmir is pleased to appoint Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, former Military Secretary, Indian Army, as the chancellor of the university, for a term of five years," the notification stated. Hasnain had in his capacity as the XV Corps Commander in Srinagar had adopted an outread program to win over the hearts of the Kashmiris as he would put it. Passionate about his tenure to a point where he was criticised by colleagues for entangling professionalism in emotions, Hasnain did win some friends in the state for his efforts at the time.

Hasnain replaces nuclear scientist Srikumar Banerjee as the Chancellor of the University. Banjerjee has completed his five year term and was appointed earlier by then President Pranab Mukherjee. He had retired as as the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India (AECI) and the Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).. He had also worked with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Hasnain joined the RSS run ‘think tank’ Vivekanand Foundation soon after his retirement. He is a visible presence in Delhi’s elite establishment circles, widely recognised as a ‘candidate’ for the post of J&K Governor. Clearly he has not made the grade, but has managed to return to Kashmir via the academic route. Given his proximity to the centre, and his enthusiastic personality, Hasnain is expected to bring vigour to his new assignment as a military general with the brief to tackle the youth of Kashmir seen to be leading the protests and resistance currently.