DU V-C role in focus as DU staffing row simmers
A day after the Union education ministry disregarded Delhi University (DU) vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi’s appointments to the posts of pro-vice chancellor, registrar, and director of South Campus, PC Jha, the removed registrar who was backed by Tyagi, claimed the V-C’s decisions were in compliance with the DU Act.Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 11:55 IST
A day after the Union education ministry disregarded Delhi University (DU) vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi’s appointments to the posts of pro-vice chancellor, registrar, and director of South Campus, PC Jha, the removed registrar who was backed by Tyagi, claimed the V-C’s decisions were in compliance with the DU Act.
In a letter addressed to Birendra Kumar Singh, deputy secretary in the ministry of education on Thursday, Jha wrote, “It is informed that PC Jha, in addition to his responsibilities as director of South Campus, is acting as registrar as an interim arrangement and Geeta Bhatt has been appointed as pro vice-chancellor in place of PC Joshi. The honourable vice-chancellor, professor Yogesh K Tyagi, has taken [the] decision in due compliance with the Act, Statutes, and Ordinances of Delhi University,”
The ministry had on Thursday said Tyagi’s orders during his leave of absence on medical grounds were not valid.
The ministry also acknowledged Vikas Gupta, who appointed by acting V-C Joshi as the registrar, and said that if Tyagi wanted to join office, he must submit a proper medical fitness certificate
High-voltage drama has been unfolding at the university since Tuesday with two factions of the university supporting two registrars, two pro-vice chancellors, and two directors of South Campus, resulting in an executive council meeting that cleared Gupta’s appointment as the new registrar being questioned.
On Friday, Gupta visited the Viceregal Lodge at DU and met Jha, who is “working” from the V-C’s office.
“We wanted the rooms of the pro-VC and registrar to be unlocked. The ministry has already issued the orders, we only wanted these directions to be implemented. But they were reluctant and maintained they are appointed by the vice-chancellor,” Gupta said.
Referring to Friday’s meeting, Jha said, “Gupta and I spoke cordially. He asked how we could resolve the ongoing deadlock and we conveyed that he should speak to the vice-chancellor, who has the only authority on the matter. The offices have been sealed as per V-C ‘s orders, who has asked us to work from his office. Whenever the vice-chancellor asks us to hand over the office, we will.”
The Viceregal Lodge houses the office of the DU vice-chancellor along with other executive officials of the varsity, including the registrar and pro-vice chancellor. The offices of the registrar and pro-VC have been locked for two days as per directions of the VC, Jha said.
Despite repeated attempts, pro-V-C Joshi and removed pro-V-C Bhatt, did not comment on the matter.
Meanwhile, Suneet Kashyap, joint officer on special duty (OSD) at the V-C office, wrote to Sanjeev Singh, director at DU computer centre, alleging that password of the official email of the pro-VC had been changed.
“The password of the official email of the pro vice-chancellor of university of Delhi was changed on the night of October 22, 2020 and had become inaccessible to the present pro vice-chancellor Geeta Bhatt. You are directed to immediately convey the password of official email ID to present pro vice-chancellor,” Kashyap wrote.
Some senior officials claimed Tyagi had already joined work when Jha was appointed as interim registrar and Bhatt as pro-VC.
“The vice-chancellor had sent an e-mail to secretary, higher education and other officials on October 19, saying he would like to attend the meeting on Evidence of the Parliamentary Committee on the Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes scheduled on October 20 via video link. Why would he do so if he wasn’t working?” a senior DU official said.
But former executive council member AK Bhagi, said, “In August, the ministry had sent a letter, saying Joshi would be in charge of all duties and appointments till the vice-chancellor joined office. It was mentioned in the letter that the VC would have to inform the ministry when he joined his office. This is not possible that a person can be on leave and discharge his duties simultaneously.”
According to government official in the know of the developments, there were serious concerns about the leadership of the vice-chancellor as recruitments had been slow during his tenure and issues such as the recent spat raised questions. The slow pace of recruitment had come up before a parliamentary panel, the official said.
“There has been concern about his health and whether he can perform the key role if he is not fully well. It is learnt that the vice-chancellor has not attended his office for a long time. These issues were discussed and there is a serious concern and in the ministry on these aspects. A suitable course of effective action will be taken,” the official quoted above said.
Attempts were made to contact the vice-chancellor to get a response but he did not respond to calls or messages.
The ministry can possibly approach President Ram Nath Kovind, who as visitor can appoint or remove the heads of central universities, with the concerns. The ministry is considering all aspects, said another official when contacted, without elaborating further.