Smriti Irani qualification row: DU does U-turn, says no official suspended

Making a U-turn over the alleged leaked documents related to educational qualifications of union Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani, the Delhi University (DU) on Saturday evening issued a statement clarifying that none of its employees had been suspended.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Making a U-turn over the alleged leaked documents related to educational qualifications of union Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani, the Delhi University (DU) on Saturday evening issued a statement clarifying that none of its employees had been suspended.

The announcement came hours after Irani urged Professor Dinesh Singh, the vice-chancellor of Delhi University, to reinstate the officials reportedly suspended on Friday.

According to reports, DU had suspended five non-teaching staff of the School of Open Learning for accessing and leaking confidential files.
Terming the media reports on suspension of five non-teaching staff as "incorrect", a statement by DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh today said, "The University has learnt that no suspension order has been issued to any employee of the School of Open Learning."

Earlier in the day, Irani had said that in public life one should be open to scrutiny and criticism. "So am I," the Minister said on microblogging site Twitter.

She further wrote on twitter, "since Delhi University is an autonomous institution, I have put forth my personal appeal to the Vice Chancellor to reinstate the officials".

Meanwhile, Opposition Congress today attacked the government following reports of suspension of five non-teaching staff of the University, saying the move smacked of "high-handedness" and was a precursor to the way the Centre wanted to conduct the affairs of the nation.
"Now this smacks not only of arrogance but it smacks of high-handedness. May be it is a precursor to the manner in which this government wants to conduct the affairs of the nation," party leader Manish Tewari said.

Irani is in the centre of a controversy due to her educational qualifications that has led to a full-blown war of words between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Congress had alleged that Irani had misrepresented facts in her election affidavits.

The Congress leaders have said that Irani in her affidavit -- when she was contesting the 2004 Lok Sabha election -- mentioned her qualification as bachelor of arts (BA) which she passed in 1996 from Delhi University`s school of correspondence.

But in her affidavit for this year`s Lok Sabha election, the actor-turned-politician mentioned her educational qualification as "Bachelor of Commerce Part I, School of Open Learning (Correspondence), University of Delhi – 1994."

The Congress has protested against an "undergraduate" being appointed the HRD minister.

The BJP countered it with questions about Congress chief Sonia Gandhi`s academic background.

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