The controversy around the selection process of director general (DG) of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has gathered momentum.
As reported by HT on Tuesday, days after a former ASI official pointed out that a member of the select committee of the ministry of culture was junior in rank than the superintending archaeologist who he was to select, yet another former ASI officer has raised questions about another member.
This committee had zeroed in on five candidates.
KP Poonacha, who retired as ASI’s joint director general after 35 years of service, has shot off a letter to the cabinet secretary drawing attention to what he called “glaring omission” on part of professor Vibha Tripathi that she did not recluse herself from the selection process or disclose that she is a relative of one of the candidates.
Claiming that the candidate in question addressed Tripathi as ‘Buaji’ (paternal aunt) — and submitted documentary evidence — Poonacha said: “The possibility of her influencing the other expert members to favour this candidate cannot be ruled out.”
Tripathi, however, denied the claim. There is no blood relation between us.”
Culture minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch agreed with Tripathi, “Just because he calls her buaji doesn’t mean they are related.”
Asked about a junior sitting on the selection committee, Katoch, directed this reporter to get in touch with secretary (culture).
Repeated attempts to reach her, however, failed to elicit a response.