DU VC Tyagi placed under suspension, probe on several charges of misgovernence ordered
Delhi University (DU) Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi was on Wednesday placed under suspension with immediate effect and the process of an enquiry into a range of charges of misgovernance and dereliction of duties initiated following the nod by President Ram Nath Kovind to such a proposal by the University.
According to an order issued by Ministry of Education Joint Secretary Chandra Shekhar Kumar, all orders issued with the approval of Prof Yogesh Kumar Tyagi during period of his absence on medical ground after Pro Vice Chancellor Prof P C Joshi assumed the charge of Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi on 17th July, 2020, are set aside and to be treated as null and void.
Prof P C Joshi, Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi shall function as the Vice Chancellor during this period for the smooth functioning of the varsity, the order said.
The order mentions that Prof Tyagi “failed” to discharge the duties and responsibilities entrusted to him under the Delhi University Act and lists a range of issues related to governance where the vice chancellor was found wanting.
One major charge against him was that many key posts remained vacant in the varsity despite reminders by the Education ministry.
The ministry said the post of the pro-vice chancellor remained vacant from June 2016 onwards until Prof Joshi was appointed in June 2020 after great pursuance by the Education ministry.
The post of registrar was vacant March 2020 to mid-October, Finance Officer and Treasurer (vacant since March 2020), Controller of Examination (vacant since 6 years), Librarian (vacant since mid-2019), Dean of Colleges (managed by temporary arrangements), Director South Campus (temporary arrangements), principals of colleges (inordinate delay) and delay in the constitution of governing bodies of Delhi government colleges, according to the 4-page detailed order.
The ministry said that despite a clear message to fill up teaching posts in a time-bound manner, the process was delayed.
The Parliamentary Committee on welfare of SC/ST in its meeting on October 20 expressed displeasure over non-filling of a large number of backlog vacancies in the SC/ST category , the ministry order said.
“Despite meeting at the level of Hon’ble Education Minister and Secretary, Higher Education, no substantial progress was made by the vice chancellor on above issues,” the ministry said.
The ministry said that some vigilance complaints and sexual harassment cases in the University are also pending for more than two years in violation of the provision of the relevant legislations, despite regular follow-up by it.
“This shows insensitivity on the part of the vice chancellor in disposing such matters,” the order read.
The ministry also blamed the “administrative negligence” of the vice chancellor in handling the matter of ad-hoc teachers, which it said, resulted in a huge agitation by teachers across colleges.
The Delhi University was supposed to submit a 15-year-strategic plan and a 5 year rolling implementation plan after it was chosen an Institution of Eminence (IoE).
The IoE is an ambitious government plan to take Indian varsities to among the top global colleges.
The order said that the university signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) after great persuasion. And then, in spite of repeated requests submitted the Detailed Project Report (DPR) in the last week of September.
“This has delayed the implementation of the flagship scheme of this ministry in University of Delhi,” the ministry order said.
The ministry also said that Prof Tyagi was reportedly admitted in AIIMS in the first week of July for emergency surgery and since has not attended office.
He has neither sought any leave nor informed the Executive Council as per requirement under the DU Act, the ministry order has said. It added that Tyagi did not even attend the Visitor’s Conference on the new National Education Policy (NEP), presided by President Ram Nath Kovind, on September 19.
A significant charge against Tyagi pertained to a key Executive Council (EC) meeting this month.
“The Executive Council meeting scheduled for 10th October 2020, in which agenda item number 4 for appointment to various posts including that of Registrar and Finance Officer, was postponed on the verbal instructions of Prof Yogesh Tyagi for 10 days as Prof Tyagi said he would join,” the ministry order said.
According to the order, Tyagi again wanted to postpone the meeting for no reason on record. On October 21, just before the EC meeting Tyagi appointed Prof P C Jha as interim registrar while remaining in absence.
“Prof Jha tried to disrupt the ongoing Executive Council meeting. However, this was not allowed, as Executive Council resolved that Prof Suman Kundu would continue as Director, South Delhi campus and acting registrar till permanent/duly appointed registrar joins. Subsequently, Prof Yogesh Tyagi remaining in absence made other appointments including that of Dr Geeta Bhatt as Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Delhi,” the order read.
According to the ministry, Tyagi tried to hamper the smooth conduct of the EC and the selection committee meeting by making parallel appointments.
By these arbitrary decisions, he created an environment of conflict and uncertainty in the administrative functioning of the university.
The order said President Kovind, as visitor of the university, has ordered an enquiry into allegations of dereliction of duty and lack of commitment against Prof Yogesh Tyagi.
The president has also placed Tyagi under suspension with immediate effect “as he may influence/coerce the witnesses and tamper with the material records of the university so as to ensure fair inquiry”.
The order said all orders issued by Tyagi issued by or issued with his approval, after Prof P C Joshi assumed the charge of Vice Chancellor on 17th July, are set aside and to be treated as null and void.
Prof Joshi, the pro-vice chancellor, would function as the vice chancellor according to norms for the smooth functioning of the varsity.
Attempts made to contact the suspended VC Tyagi on phone did not fructify.
Asked about the process for initiating enquiry, an official said a separate order would be issued on it. Meanwhile, Delhi University registrar Vikas Gupta called an emergent meeting of the varsity executive council on Thursday following the ministry order. Agenda papers will be placed on the table, the order said.