Former Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) D P Agrawal will be Delhi University’s new nominee for the search-cum-selection panel in charge of selecting the new vice-chancellor.
According to sources, Agrawal’s name was suggested by VC Dinesh Singh under “any other matter” at an emergent Executive Council meeting held on Tuesday. Chancellor’s nominee Javid Chowdhury, elected member Abha Dev Habib and court member Ajay Kumar dissented on the procedure adopted for passing the name.
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“All EC members should have been allowed to suggest and deliberate the name(s). We had written the same in our letters addressed to the VC yesterday,” said Habib.
The absence of the matter of constitution of the selection committee for the appointment of the next Delhi University vice-chancellor, from the agenda item of the EC meeting had teachers crying foul.
Agrawal served as chairman UPSC for six years from 2008-2014. Known for introducing aptitude tests and including online forms in the UPSC recruitment examinations in his tenure, he had made comments in 2014 on Indian higher education and the “challenges” facing it.
He had said that the “availability of quality faculty” would be a major challenge in the coming years as education faces challenges of “expansion, excellence, equity, empowerment and evolution”.
Former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan – who was earlier part of the selection panel – was dropped recently when his “conflict of interest” came to the fore because of him being an honourary professor of the university. While Singh had claimed his appointment was an “oversight”, the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) through the president has asked DU to convene an EC meeting to select Kasturirangan’s replacement in the panel before October 28, when Singh’s terms ends.