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November 29, 2020

‘Dereliction of Duty’: DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi Suspended by President

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New Delhi: Delhi University vice-chancellor Yogesh Tyagi was suspended on Wednesday on the orders of President Ram Nath Kovind who has also directed an inquiry against him over allegations of dereliction of duty, according to officials of the Ministry of Education.

The President, who is the Visitor to the university, has placed Tyagi under suspension to ensure that the inquiry is fair and that he is not able to tamper with material records or coerce the witnesses, a senior ministry official said.

“All orders issued by or issued with the approval of Yogesh Tyagi during the period of his absence on medical ground are set aside and to be treated as null and void,” the official said.

The move comes amid a power tussle in the corridors of Delhi University.

President Ram Nath Kovind had on Wednesday approved the education ministry’s proposal to inquire against Tyagi for administrative lapses due to his unauthorised absence from the university, the Indian Express reported.

Tyagi, who was admitted to AIIMS on July 2 under an emergency medical condition and has been on leave since then, has apparently not been attending office regularly since January.

The ministry official said, “The Vice Chancellor is not administering the university in accordance with (statutory) provisions…which has caused mis-governance and malfunctioning of University of Delhi. This is not conducive for appropriate academic as well as administrative environment of the university.”

Also read: As DU Colleges Face Stiff Competition, Kejriwal Asks Centre to Change Rules

“The President of India in his capacity as Visitor of the University, on consideration of facts and material available on record, has ordered to conduct an inquiry into the allegations of dereliction of duties and lack of commitment and devotion to duty against him. The president has also been pleased to place Yogesh Tyagi under suspension with immediate effect until further orders as he may influence/coerce the witnesses and tamper with the material records of the university so as to ensure fair inquiry,” the official said.

The ministry had attempted to remove Tyagi in the past, the report added, over not resolving the ad hoc teachers’ appointment issue and leaving faculty posts vacant for years despite multiple reminders.

What’s happening in the DU’s VC office?

A controversy had erupted when Tyagi removed pro-VC P.C. Joshi (who is having charge of VC at present) and appointed Geeta Bhat, the director of the Non-Collegiate Women’s Eduction Board of the university, in his place. However, during his tenure, Joshi appointed a new registrar, Vikas Gupta, whose appointment was cleared by the executive council. Meanwhile, Tyagi appointed P.C. Jha as acting registrar and director for South Campus.

The education ministry reportedly recognised Gupta’s appointment as registrar and stated that if Tyagi wants to join office, then he must submit a medical fitness certificate.

P.C. Jha wrote to the ministry last week insisting his appointment complied with the rules, according to the Indian Express report. The ministry then wrote to the registrar appointed by Joshi, Vikas Gupta, ordering DU to initiate disciplinary action against Jha under the University Act.

According to reports, it was also brought to the notice of the ministry that the posts of registrar and finance officers in the university are lying vacant for the past few months. The scheduled interviews expected to be held last month had to be postponed due to Tyagi’s absence, and therefore, pro-VC Joshi is now authorised to preside over the selection committee until Tyagi is back.

(With inputs from PTI)

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