With the preliminary report of a one-man enquiry against IGNOU vice-chancellor M Aslam reportedly indicting him of “irregularities”, the premiere open learning varsity has become deeply divided over the issue.
The V-C has been asked to stay on indefinite leave till a final call is taken on the report.
The President of India, as Visitor to IGNOU, had appointed the enquiry committee under Central University of Gujarat vice-chancellor Syed Bari after complaints of “irregularities” against Aslam and indictment of the functioning of the university under him by a Parliamentary Standing Committee.
However, even as some in IGNOU oppose him, a section of professors has also come out in his favour, saying he was trying to “clean up” the system and is also facing opposition from some “right-of-centre” voices after the new government came to power.
The enquiry was set up to probe his appointment as V-C, the discontinuation of the Community College scheme, closure of courses for the Indian army, closure of some chairs and also the resignations of many professors.
The group defending him is trying to seek an appointment with the President to put forth their view. “Community colleges were a problem. They were running in single rooms and getting degrees from IGNOU. He tried to regulate them to clean the system,” said an academic backing him.
The group opposing him accuses him of being short-tempered, forcing people quit. “For two decades, IGNOU offered programmes for defence personnel that also earned revenues, but he stopped them,” a professor alleged.
Those close to the BJP also allege that he has been close to the Congress.