head of his retirement in March next year, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi, Professor Yogesh Tyagi, is facing the heat from the Ministry of Education after an ugly power tussle between him and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor played out publicly.
According to a report in the Indian Express, the Education Ministry has moved a file to initiate an inquiry against Tyagi for administrative lapses. Till the completion of the proposed inquiry, he is likely to be sent on leave with the approval of President Ram Nath Kovind, the Visitor of the University.
Tyagi is presently on medical leave ever since he was admitted to AIIMS on July 2 with an “emergency medical condition”. Pro-Vice-Chancellor P C Joshi was, thus, given charge of the office of the Vice-Chancellor until Tyagi resumed office.
Last week, a controversy erupted when Tyagi without having resumed office and without submitting a medical fitness certificate, removed Joshi as Pro-VC and appointed Geeta Bhatt, director of the Non-Collegiate Women’s Education Board of the university, in his place.
Joshi had, meanwhile, notified the appointment of a new registrar, Vikas Gupta. However, on the same day, Tyagi had approved and notified the appointment of P C Jha as acting registrar.
Miffed with the administrative lapses and power tussle, the Education Ministry sent a strongly worded letter to the DU Registrar Vikas Gupta asking him not to act upon the order issued by Tyagi.
“The orders issued by the VC during his period of absence on the medical ground without joining the office properly and officially is not valid and should not be acted upon by the University functionary. In the future, if the VC wants to join the office, proper medical fitness certificates issued by the competent authority who treated him may be obtained”, the Education Ministry said.
It also made it clear that Prof Joshi who is acting VC will act as VC and all the orders that are normally issued under the statutes with the approval of the VC, should be issued with the approval of Pro-VC Prof P C Joshi.
Prof. Tyagi’s, Registrar appointee P.C. Jha, however, wrote to the Ministry defending that VC’s decisions were in compliance with Act, Statutes and Ordinances of the university. Miffed with the letter of Jha, Ministry shot back a letter to Registrar Vikas Gupta, inquiring about was this person and his locus! The Ministry’s letter also alludes to initiation of disciplinary proceedings against Jha as per the Delhi University Act, 1922 and Statutes and Ordinances, in case he turns out to be an employee of Delhi University.
Speaking to the Leaflet, Professor Tariq Islam (Retd.) who served as chairperson in the Department of Philosophy in Aligarh Muslim University, said Professor Yogesh Tyagi could not have issued orders while on medical leave, since currently he is not holding the office of Vice-Chancellor. Two persons cannot hold an office at the same time. He added that PVC while officiating as VC, in the absence of the regular VC, also should not have passed orders concerning policy matters. A PVC should only look after routine matters, Prof Islam added.
Tyagi was recommended out of the panel of four candidates for the post of DU VC in 2016 by the then Education Minister Smriti Irani. Tyagi’s predecessor Professor Dinesh Singh had also faced the heat of the Education Ministry, which had sought to send him on compulsory wait for allegedly meddling with the appointment process of his successor. However, this did not find favour with the President, which then led the Education Ministry to withdraw the proposal.