The University Grants Commission on Thursday dramatically cancelled the selection of a full-fledged secretary scheduled for Friday after stinging criticism from the HRD ministry questioning the UGC's intentions behind the proposed appointment.
The UGC sent letters of regret to all short-listed candidates who were to be interviewed on Friday for the post of secretary, in a desperate bid to firefight a controversy threatening to engulf its chairman Sukhdeo Thorat.
The turnaround came after the HRD ministry followed up its letter with an expression of unhappiness on Thursday, sources said.
The controversy surrounds the appointment of a secretary, just three months before the end of Thorat's tenure.
Two MPs and several academicians have written to the HRD ministry questioning Thorat's move.
Thorat has worked for the entirety of his five year tenure without full-fledged secretaries. The controversy reached its flashpoint when the HRD ministry on Tuesday wrote to the UGC asking why it was in a hurry to appoint a full-fledged secretary.