Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi has been suspended by the president, Ram Nath Kovind over alleged “misconduct” and “dereliction of duty”
Why Did President Kovind Suspend Delhi University VC Yogesh Tyagi?
On Wednesday, 28th October, 2020, President Ram Nath Kovind placed Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi under suspension after giving nod to an inquiry against him. Allegations of “dereliction of duty” and “lack of commitment” have been levelled against Mr. Tyagi.
Mr. Tyagi is the sixth Central Varsity head appointed by the BJP Government to face action. Previously, eleven central universities have either been sacked or have faced an enquiry or have been forced to resign/ go on leave, under the Modi Government alone.
What are the grounds for his suspension?
According to the Education Ministry, Mr. Tyagi, who was appointed in February 2016, has allegedly failed to discharge his duties and responsibilities as the Vice Chancellor of the university. This duty included appointments to several important posts, which were left vacant for a long time.
- The post of Pro Vice Chancellor, who assists the VC and performs the latter’s functions in his absence, was vacant from June 2016 to June 2020 and was filled after “great pursuance by the Administrative Ministry.”
- The post of Registrar was vacant from March to October 2020.
- DU has had no Controller of Examinations since 2016.
- Finance Officer and Treasurer’s post has been vacant since March 2020.
- Posts like the Dean of Colleges, Director of South Campus and College Principals have been vacant.
- Inordinate delay in appointment of permanent Principals in several colleges.
- A permanent Director of South Campus has not been appointed, and is being managed by temporary arrangements.
- Delay in filling up teaching positions that were vacant at the university.
- A large number of vigilance and sexual harassment cases associated with the university are pending for more than two years.
Further, in June 2020, Vice Chancellor Tyagi was admitted to AIIMS Delhi for an emergency surgery and hasn’t returned to office since. He has not sought official permission for this absence or informed the university’s Executive Council, as per the Ministry of Education.
Who is currently in charge of DU?
President Kovind, in his capacity as the Visitor of the University, has suspended VC Tyagi until further orders as he may “influence or coerce the witnesses and tamper with the material records of the university so as to ensure fair inquiry.” Hence, all orders issued by Mr. Tyagi, after Pro Vice Chancellor PC Joshi assumed the role of VC on 17 July are to be “treated as null and void.”
Therefore, as mentioned in statutes, Pro Vice Chancellor PC Joshi will perform the functions of Vice Chancellor Tyagi during the period in which Tyagi remains suspended.
What is the stance of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) on this?
On June 27 2020, DUTA published a detailed report – ‘DUTA White paper on Acts of Mis-governance by Vice-Chancellor of University of Delhi’. They have further criticized the Ministry of Education and the University Grants Commission (UGC) of not only neglecting but also contributing to the condition of crisis and mis-governance at DU.
“The DUTA had submitted White Paper in June 2019. The Ministry of Education and UGC have been aware of the crisis in DU and are complicit in allowing mis-governance. The fact that action is being initiated and inquiry has been set up following a bitter fight between two factions of the right-wing confuses us. Is this about justice for the teachers and the University or part of the muscle flexing being witnessed over the last week or so. The ministry is equally guilty of creating crisis after crisis in DU, whether it be its agenda to privatize through forced MoUs or the recent imposition of OBE on hapless students.”Ms. Abha Dev Habib, Treasurer DUTA
Feature Image Credits: Du beat archives