The appointment of senior RSS leader Vishram Jamdar as the new chairman of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) by HRD minister Smriti Irani has triggered a controversy.
Sources said four names — BM Munjal of Hero Honda Motors Ltd, Shriram Inamdar, a professor from the University of Delaware (US), MG Parameswaran of Ulka Advertising and Arun Jain, chairman of Polaris Software Lab Ltd, were recommended to the HRD ministry for the post.
Jamdar, however, denied the ministry was pressurised into appointing him, as is being alleged.
His name was sent as the only option to the President Pranab Mukherjee for nomination. Sources said a lot of behind the scenes lobbying took place for Jamdar’s appointment before his name was approved on September 15.
According to Jamdar, he may have been selected for the post because of his work during his 10-year-old stint on the VNIT board of governors. He was appointed to the board in 2002 by the then HRD minister Arjun Singh. “Moreover, I am an ex-student of VNIT and want to repay the institute by working for it,” Jamdar said.
Sources said Jamdar had written to Irani immediately after she took charge of the ministry seeking the post of VNIT chairman reminding her that he was a “RSS swayamsevak” and Nagpur was his home.
“Yes I am a RSS swayamsevak, but that does not make me ineligible for the post. I am proud to have been groomed by the RSS culture and my RSS credentials should not be linked with this.”