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DU officials defy ministry's direction, to hold posts despite orders

Friday - October 23, 2020 11:21 pm , Category : EDUCATION
New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) The row in Delhi University has worsened after the varsity officials defied an order issued by the Ministry of Education in writing.
A day after the MoE reversed the appointments made by Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi during his medical leave, the officials replied back to the government stating that they still hold the posts.
On Thursday night, the MoE intervened in the controversy reigning between the two factions of the university administration divided between the VC and the pro-VC.
The ministry declared that the decisions taken by Tyagi in the executive council (EC) meeting held on Wednesday were invalid.
"The orders issued by VC Yogesh Tyagi during his period of absence on medical grounds without joining the office properly and officially are not valid and should not be acted upon by the university functionary," the ministry said in a letter issued to DU.
In the strictly worded letter, the MoE also added that in the future, "if the VC wants to join the office, a proper medical fitness certificate issued by a competent authority who treated him may be obtained."
With this, the appointments of Geeta Bhatt as pro-VC, replacing P.C. Joshi, and that of P.C. Jha replacing Vikas Gupta as registrar, were declared invalid.
However, on Friday morning, the sacked interim registrar said that no decision taken by the VC has been overturned. He addressed the letter to Birendra Kumar Singh, deputy secretary in the department of higher education of the MoE, and said the government's letter was addressed to Vikas Gupta as the registrar.
"The letter has been addressed to Vikas Gupta as Registrar, University of Delhi. Attention is drawn to the office order dated October 22 issued in this regard by the university. It is informed that professor P.C. Jha in addition to his responsibilities as Director of South Campus is acting as Registrar as an interim arrangement," Jha wrote.
The letter added, "It is also informed that Geeta Bhatt has been appointed as pro-VC in place of P.C. Joshi. The VC, Yogesh K Tyagi, has taken the decisions in due compliance with the acts, statutes and ordinances of the Delhi University."
Officials on condition of anonymity told IANS that the appointments are valid and the government should not interfere in the matter since DU is an autonomous institution.
"The university is an autonomous body and has its own statutes and ordinances which empower the Vice Chancellor to make decisions on his own. We are not bound by the ministry," an official said.
Rajib Ray, President of the Delhi University Tecahers' Association (DUTA), also said that the conflict should be resolved at the university level.
"The decision to sort out the matter should come from the university itself. DU is equipped enough to take decisions on its own. The worrying factions should sit together, convene a required statuory meeting and decide what is necessary and best for the university," he said.
Ray also expressed his concern over how daily affairs of the varsity would be severely impacted if the conflict continues for long.
"Since the admission process is on, the repercussions are limited to the power arena only. So far no classes have been affected. However, if the conflict continues, the daily affairs of the university will be affected adversely," he said.
Series of events:
* On Wednesday morning, P.C. Jha was made the Registrar replacing Suman Kundu at Tyagi's behest, hours before an executive council meeting was to begin.
* Joshi, however, deemed the appointment "illegal" as he had not made it, and asked Jha to vacate the office. Kundu chaired the EC meeting as the Registrar.
* By Wednesday night, a third person, Vikas Gupta, was appointed Registrar by the EC unanimously.
* On Thursday morning, Joshi signed an office order as the pro-VC, announcing that Gupta had joined as the Registrar.
* Hours later on Thursday, Tyagi removed Joshi and appointed Geeta Bhatt, Director, Non-Collegiate Women's Education Board, as the pro-VC.
* Late on Thursday night, the MoE reversed the order issued by Tyagi to remove Joshi from the post of pro-VC.
IANS tried to contact Tyagi and Joshi for their comments but the calls and messages went unanswered.

--IANS str/arm