Ex-UPSC chief on DU search panel

 Delhi University's executive council (EC) on Tuesday nominated former Union Public Service Commission chairperson D P Agrawal as a new search committee member, amid furore over the Chancellor's nominee Javid Chaudhury allegedly spreading false information about the search panel.

The council censured Chaudhury, a retired IAS official, for giving misleading information about the former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, who was also on the committee which had selected the incumbent Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh.

Agrawal has come as replacement for Kasturirangan, after the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development forced DU to drop his name from the current search panel, on grounds that there is a “conflict of interest” because he is an honorary professor of the university. 

Earlier, the Human Resource Development Ministry – through the President – had asked Delhi University to convene an EC meeting before Singh’s term ended on October 28.
Chaudhury faces ire

Chaudhury, who faced ire of the EC on Tuesday, had in a letter to Vice Chancellor claimed that the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief was also on the committee which had selected Singh to the post.

He was also charged with sharing this information with the media.
Vice President Hamid Ansari is the DU's Chancellor and Chaudhury is his nominee in the EC.

“It is surprising that he today misled the council and also maligned the great scientist Dr K Kasturirangan. Javid Chaudhury alleged that former ISRO chief was member of that
committee that recommended the appointment of Prof Dinesh Singh as Vice Chancellor of DU,” EC member J L Gupta said.

But Chaudhury, in a statement, said: “This is to point out that there has been a small
typographical error. The search committee set up in year 2010 had Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the GOI on it and not Dr K Kasturirangan.”

Teacher groups object

Meanwhile, some teacher groups have objected to the nomination of University Grants Commission’s chief Ved Prakash as the chairperson of the search committee.

“Ved Prakash is functioning under the direct control and supervision of HRD Ministry. This too involves conflict of interest. We demand the Visitor to take cognisance of this fact,” Gupta said.

President Pranab Mukherjee,who is also DU Visitor, nominates the chairperson for the committee.

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