Scientist Goverdhan Mehta will be the chief guest at the annual convocation of Jamia Millia Islamia on January 19 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his inability to preside over the event due to time constraints.
The varsity had in November extended an invite to Modi, which triggered a controversy as a number of alumni demanded withdrawal of the invitation in view of the comments made by Modi against the varsity in 2008.
Jamia had, however, rejected the demand and said it would wait till it hears from the PMO to decide on the convocation date.
“We have got a reply from the PMO that the Prime Minister will not be able to visit the university due to time constraints. So, we extended an invite to Goverdhan Mehta who has given his consent following which we decided a suitable date,” Jamia spokesperson Mukesh Ranjan said.
Ranjan said that the varsity has nothing to do with the protests from the alumni and it is looking forward to host Modi sometime in near future. The protests by certain alumni came in the wake of the fact that Modi had attacked Jamia in 2008 after the Batla House encounter in September that year.