Following a media report which claimed that Prof S Parasuraman, director of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has resigned from his post over an institute review committee report, the director said he still occupies the chair, and that he has asked the governing board of the institute whether he should resign or not.
The reason, he said, was delay in submission of the report. He, however, did not say whether he has submitted any resignation letter to the governing board.
“A committee was commissioned to study the work at TISS. The idea was to get eminent scholars to suggest ways in which we could further improve. My governing board is also eager to see that report. But there has been a delay in submission of the report. As the institute director, who has commissioned the report, it is my responsibility get the report on time. Hence, I have asked my governing board what is to be done. And, I have posed this question to my governing board whether I should resign from the post over this delay,” said Parasuraman.
He further said, “To keep the legacy and dignity of TISS intact is my priority. Given the circumstances when TISS has been spoken about basely without evidence, I have recommended various options to the governing board to safeguard the reputation of our institute. I continue to remain the director at TISS.”
An external committee was set up last year to review the work of TISS. According to media reports, the report has allegedly criticised the way the institute was expanding and that attempts were being made to suppress it. “I am in discussion with my governing board about this entire episode. There has been some malicious intentions to tarnish the institute’s image. My effort is to clarify that when the final report has not been submitted yet, there is no question of suppressing it,” said Parasuraman.
A faculty of the institute, on condition of anonymity, however, added that the institute has been expanding rapidly in the last few years, without taking into consideration aspects like infrastructure and availability of teachers.
A member of the academic review committee, Dr Nimesh Desai from the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, said that the full panel met at TISS campus in Govandi in April 2014, which is when the first compiled draft was circulated within the committee members.
“We felt that the impression being given is that there have been some unauthorised expansion. This issue was brought to the institute’s notice and we asked them to let us have access to relevant records, which was given to us, Finally we felt that the report should be neutral and unbiased. The drafting committee then met in July 2014 and in an email in February this year, it was agreed upon that we’ll finalise the report. But it has been the collective failure of the panel to submit the final report,” Desai said, adding that there is no reason to believe the report is being suppressed.