Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday confirmed that Banaras Hindu University (BHU) vice-chancellor GC Tripathi has proceeded on leave for an indefinite period.
Speaking to The Indian Express on the sidelines of a press conference, Javadekar said, “The university has received his application and they have confirmed that he is on indefinite leave.” He, however, did not wish to comment on who would act as V-C in Tripathi’s absence.
Javadekar’s statement is the first official confirmation of the university head proceeding on leave amid outrage over his mishandling of heated protests by students regarding an alleged incident of sexual harassment on campus. Tripathi retires on November 26.
As first reported by The Indian Express on September 28, the government had sounded out the V-C on the option of going on leave, even as it set the ball rolling for appointing his successor.
According to the BHU Act, if the university head goes on leave, the Rector will act as the head — in the Rector’s absence, the university Registrar will assume charge as V-C. When Tripathi’s predecessor, Lalji Singh, retired in 2014, IIT-BHU director Rajeev Sangal was appointed as the V-C in charge, with the President’s approval, for three months. The university authorities are expected to announce the name of the acting head this week.