New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday turned down the appointment of former ISRO Chief K Kasturirangan to the search panel for a new Vice Chancellor for Delhi University which has been asked to send a new nomination to replace him.
The President, who is the Visitor to the University, has also asked outgoing Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh to complete his tenure which comes to an end on October 28, official sources said.
The directive comes after HRD ministry had sent a file to the President requesting him to send Singh on "compulsory leave" as he had "deliberately" appointed Kasturirangan to the selection panel for his successor despite him being an honorary professor, saying there was conflict of interest.
The Ministry later withdrew its request after it was made clear that the President was not keen on favouring such an action with barely few weeks remaining for Singh's tenure to end.
According to the university statutes, the three-member committee appointed for selection of the VC should not consist of any persons connected with the university in any manner.
While the issue of Kasturirangan's appointment has sparked yet another controversy in the last leg of Singh's eventful tenure, Singh has rubbished charges against him claiming that the former ISRO chief's selection could have been an "oversight" by the Executive Council, the university's apex body.
Interestingly, Singh himself chairs the EC meeting and is the final authority on the decisions taken.
The VC has also asserted that he will not continue a day beyond his tenure as is being speculated.
The nomination of a new member to the selection panel is likely to delay the appointment process for the new VC. However, Singh has declined to continue during the period if required.
"I am not going to stay a day or for that matter an hour beyond my tenure. If a VC is not appointed till the time I retire, I will not be holding the charge till it is done. The university statutes have a provision that in the absence of VC, the pro Vice Chancellor takes the charge. So he will assume the position if need be but not me," he had said.
Singh and the HRD Ministry have been at loggerheads ever since the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) row with the latter issuing him a show-cause notice allegedly as he had not taken due approvals for rolling out the programme.
While no action was initiated against him following his reply to the notice, Singh has been dropped from a delegation accompanying the President to Jordan, Palestine and Israel tomorrow.