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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Power tussle in DU ends with President suspending V-C Tyagi

Inquiry to look into allegations that V-C kept key posts vacant, delayed faculty recruitment

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: October 29, 2020 9:37:36 am
DU V-C Yogesh Tyagi

The week-long power tussle between Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Pro V-C PC Joshi ended Wednesday with the former’s suspension on President Ram Nath Kovind’s order.

Tyagi’s suspension, a first in DU’s history, came a day after the President approved the Education Ministry’s proposal to launch an inquiry against him for failing to discharge his duties and responsibilities. The President is DU’s Visitor and the appointing authority for the V-C’s post.

Tyagi has been suspended until further orders to ensure fair inquiry as he may “influence/coerce witnesses and tamper with the material records of the University”, the ministry’s directive states.

The government has identified eight charges of dereliction of duty against him. The inquiry will probe into allegations that the V-C kept statutory and key posts such as Pro V-C, Registrar, Finance Officer and Treasurer vacant; delayed faculty recruitment despite meetings held by the Education Ministry; mishandled last year’s teachers’ protest over the reappointment of ad hoc teachers; went on an unauthorised leave of absence from the first week of July; and hampered the functioning of the university by making parallel appointments to the Registrar’s post even as he was on leave, among others.

“… the Vice-Chancellor is not administering the university in accordance with the provisions of the Act, Statutes, ordinance of University of Delhi, which has caused mis-governance and malfunctioning of University of Delhi. This is not conducive for appropriate academic as well as administrative environment of the University,” the ministry’s order states.

The Indian Express had reported on October 24 that the education ministry had made attempts in the past to build a case for Tyagi’s removal. Among the occasions when this was informally discussed was when he did not heed repeated reminders to fill up faculty posts lying vacant for years, and his handling of last year’s teachers’ protest over reappointment of ad hoc teachers. The government had intervened to resolve the crisis.

Matters came to a head last week when he went head-to-head with Joshi over appointing a new Registrar. A day later, the government issued a strongly-worded directive snubbing Tyagi, declaring his contentious appointment to the Registrar’s post as invalid since it was done during his leave of absence.

Interestingly, despite the government’s public snub to Tyagi, P C Jha, who was appointed Registrar by the V-C, wrote to the ministry last week on Friday insisting his appointment complied with the rules. The Education Ministry then wrote to the Registrar appointed by Joshi ordering DU to initiate disciplinary action against Jha under the University Act.

Tyagi did not respond to calls seeking a comment.

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