Delhi University has nominated former UPSC chairman DP Agarwal to the search panel for the new vice-chancellor. Agarwal’s name was proposed after scientist K Kasturirangan’s name was dropped from the panel following allegations of conflict of interest.
DU convened an emergency meeting of the Executive Council (EC) on Tuesday in which Agarwal’s name was approved following a directive from President Pranab Mukherjee to suggest a replacement for Kasturirangan. “Former UPSC chairman DP Agarwal was nominated as a replacement for Kasturirangan,” an EC member said.
Agarwal’s name was passed amid dissent from three members, who alleged that the agenda circulated for the meeting did not mention about the proposal of suggesting a new name for the search committee. “The V-C has again misused his position as the chairperson of the EC to bring serious matters requiring time for reflection and scrutiny on the table for instant decision,” said Abha Dev Habib, an EC member.
Habib also said that demand of EC members to suggest a panel of names for the search committee was not allowed. “The V-C did not allow a group of names to be proposed and discussed prior to decision making. We could have discussed more names but there was no time given,” she said. The Ministry of Human Resource Development had last week objected to the nomination of former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan to the selection panel as he is an honorary professor in the university which could lead to conflict of interest.
Another EC member JL Gupta raised objections to the nomination of UGC chairperson Ved Prakash as the chairperson of the search committee. “Since Ved Prakash is functioning under the direct control and supervision of HRD Ministry, this involves conflict of interest,” said Gupta.
The EC also censured the chancellor’s nominee Javid Chaudhury for allegedly spreading rumours about Kasturirangan. Chaudhury had in a letter to V-C claimed that Kasturirangan was also on the committee which had selected Dinesh Singh to the post. However, Chaudhury on Tuesday said that the name’s inclusion was a typographical error.