Smriti Irani urges revocation of suspension of DU staff; Digvijay Singh says `thanks`

In a bid to stop controversy over her education qualifications from flaring up anymore, Union Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani urged Professor Dinesh Singh, the vice-chancellor of Delhi University, to reinstate the officials suspended on Friday.

Last Updated: May 31, 2014, 16:05 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In a bid to stop controversy over her education qualifications from flaring up further, Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani on Saturday urged Professor Dinesh Singh, the vice-chancellor of Delhi University, to reinstate the officials suspended on Friday.

Irani, who has already urged people to judge her on the basis of her work, took to microblogging website Twitter to say that she is open to scrutiny and criticism.

The Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) also "welcomed" Irani`s stand.

Talking to reporters earlier in the day, Irani reiterated, "As DU is an autonomous institution, I am not constitutionally mandated into interfering into the functioning of the institute."

"... Kindly look into the fact of reinstating these officials. There are many teachers and students who had approached me with regard to certain challenges the university is facing, and even in my communication with them I had reinforced the autonomy of the Delhi University," Irani told the media.

"Hence, not as a minister, but as a citizen I would like to appeal to the vice chancellor to reinstate the officials that I have come to know through newspapers reports have been suspended," Irani added.

The Union Minister also launched an attacked on those who are targeting her for standing against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. She said, "When I contested from Amethi, I had prepared myself for criticism in future from those who want to show loyalty to Mr Gandhi."

Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh thanked Irani for appealing for the reinstatement of the DU officials. He further urged her to disclose her "actual educational qualification".

The Delhi University suspended a Section Officer and four officials below him in hierarchy for allegedly leaking documents related to educational qualifications of Irani. An inquiry has been initiated against them.

Sources said the officials have admitted to School of Open Learning`s director Chandra Shekhar Dubey to leaking the documents.

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.

(With IANS inputs)