IIT-D director resignation row: HRD ministry probing legality of MoU

With the resignation of IIT Delhi Director kicking up a row, government on Monday said it has set up a committee to look into the legality of an MoU signed with Mauritius during his tenure for setting up a campus there even as the IIT said the pact had approvals from the government.

New Delhi: With the resignation of IIT Delhi Director kicking up a row, government on Monday said it has set up a committee to look into the legality of an MoU signed with Mauritius during his tenure for setting up a campus there even as the IIT said the pact had approvals from the government.

HRD Ministry officials maintained that there was no pressure on R Shevgaonkar to resign as IIT Delhi Director and that his resignation has not yet been accepted.

The officials said a one-man inquiry has been set up about one and a half months back to inquire into legality of the MoU with Mauritius when the Ministry came across the MoU as it "violated the IIT Act".

Meanwhile, IIT Delhi tonight issued a statement saying that the Director had resigned because of "personal reasons" and it was "not connected to any other matter being reported in the press".

Certain media reports had said that Shevgaonkar was under pressure to approve a proposal for a cricket academy in the IIT campus and to clear the dues of Rs 70 lakh to former IIT professor and now BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

The IIT statement issued by the acting registrar said the campus in Mauritius is not an "extension campus of IIT-D" but an independent research academy named 'International Institute of Technology Research Academy' (IITRA). "IIT-D's role is only advisory in nature," it said.

It said the original proposal to start International Institute of Technology Delhi Research Academy was initiated on the recommendation of the IIT Council on January 21, 2011 but its nomenclature was later changed to IITRA on the advice of the HRD Ministry.

"The final MoU was okayed by HRD Ministry and it was signed in the presence of the then HRD Minister on November 19, 2013 in Mauritius," the IIT statement said.

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