Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cannot be disqualified as a Rajya Sabha member if he joins his alma mater, the Panjab University, which has offered him a prestigious teaching assignment, a Parliamentary committee has said. Soon after receiving the offer of Jawaharlal Nehru Chair Professorship from the University, Singh had approached the Rajya Sabha Chairman in July seeking advice as to whether accepting the position will attract disqualification under the provisions of Article 102(1)(a) of the Constitution for holding an ‘office of profit’.
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He is a Rajya Sabha member from Assam.
In its report tabled in Parliament today, the Joint Committee on Office of Profit has made it clear that if the former Prime Minister chooses to accept the offer, it “may not attract the angle of ‘office of profit’ incurring disqualification” as a member of Parliament.
Singh completed his MA (Economics) from the Panjab University and taught there as a professor of Economics between 1963 and 1965.
Vice Chancellor of Chandigarh-based Panjab University had informed Singh that the University Syndicate and Senate has approved his name for Jawaharlal Nehru Chair Professorship.
The University has offered honorarium and other facilities during his visits. He is free to choose the convenient time and duration of his visits and mode of interaction and delivery of lectures to the students and faculty.
The University informed the Joint Committee that the person appointed would occupy the Chair for a short duration.
The Chair is appointed on the recommendation by a committee consisting of eminent academicians with due approval of the governing body.
The person appointed on this Chair is expected to visit the University for a short duration. During such visit, the person is entitled to business class air-fare; car with driver; accommodation in a hotel or university guest house; an honorarium at the rate of Rs 5000 per day during days of visit.
“According to the Panjab University, the person appointed on the Chair is required to interact with the faculty, staff and students of the University, by way of discussions/ lectures.
“This Chair Professorship neither have any administrative responsibility nor any decision making power including that of appointment/removal/influence or power by way of patronage,” the Committee said in its report.