Rajasthan University Vice-Chancellor Dev Swarup’s resignation was on Monday afternoon accepted by Governor Kalyan Singh. The Governor directed the Vasundhara Raje government to appoint Divisional Commissioner Hanuman Singh Bhati to take charge of the university till a new V-C is selected. Minutes after the resignation was accepted, massive demonstrations were held on the university campus by students protesting against the move. The students demanded Swarup’s retention and threatened bigger protests if he vacates the post.
Swarup had met Singh on Sunday and offered to resign citing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pressure and lack of cooperation by the government nominees in the Syndicate in the working of the university. Swarup had alleged that the Syndicate members, mostly RSS pracharaks, had held up the budget, thereby paralysing the disbursement of salaries and pensions.
Responding to the allegations, faculty and Syndicate member Anil Bansal told The Indian Express, “We have been opposing the V-C because he has blatantly flouted rules be it in the appointments made by him, the affiliations to new colleges granted by him or the allotment of new examination centers. He made all the appointments in such haste and did not even wait for the government’s approval. We want to know what was the tearing hurry? We have demanded an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Bureau or the Central Bureau of Investigation. If the V-C is honest, he should be able to come out clean in the inquiries. He was appointed by the previous Congress government and as long as the Syndicate members were Congress nominees who alllowed him a free hand, he was happy.”
Bansal alleged that Swarup did not wait for the budget to be approved by the finance committee and instead used his casting vote to draw funds. Asked if he belonged to the RSS cadre, Bansal admitted that he is a worker but not a ‘pracharak’. “Pracharaks are full-time dedicated workers. I teach in the university. Even if I do belong to the RSS what difference does it make? The RSS never gets involved in such things. I can pledge that the RSS did not build any pressure or interfere in the working of the university. As conscious individuals we are concerned at the irregularities committed by the V-C.”
Swarup retorted, “The said teacher has no moral authority and credibility to make such statements. He has no contribution to the university and has been a destructive element. He is one of those who does not turn up for his own classes and instead runs a coaching center.”
Sources in the university said that all the six government nominees in the Syndicate are RSS pracharaks and active designated members. The slugfest between Swarup and the Syndicate has embarassed the Vasundhara Raje government that has been aiming to maintain a fair public image and not get associated with the RSS.
Swarup, who was appointed to the post in July last year, had over 20 months of tenure left. Ever since he took up the responsibility last year, the university has seen the appointment of 241 teachers after 32 years of lull. The recruitments were made after battling several hurdles as 87 court cases came up alleging irregularities in the process. Swarup single-handedly argued the cases in court to avoid delays due to the recent lawyers’ strike and rulings were made in his favour.
Swarup was appointed by the former Ashok Gehlot government while Margaret Alva served as Governor. Opposition Congress leaders in the state condemned the ‘saffronization of education.’ Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “This is clearly saffronisation of education. The RSS wants to inculcate its cultural values into the education system. By pressurising the VC to quit, RSS has achieved its political vendetta. The VC’s potential and expertise is proven and a large section of students and teachers are with him.”