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Controversy over appointment of DU college Principal

Parul Sharma

NEW DELHI: Delhi University's Bhim Rao Ambedkar College is in the news for the wrong reasons. The recent appointment of a new Principal for the college, G. K. Arora, has not been very transparent, many allege.

A former Governing Body chairman has alleged that the appointment violated the rules of the University, while a teacher who had applied for the post after the last date alleged that his application form was rejected even though those of some other candidates were admitted.

In his letter to Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Deepak Pental, former Governing Body chairman Vinay Sharma wrote: "During my tenure, 21 applications for the Principal's post were received, but interviews were later held for 26 applicants. Five applications were added at the last minute without issuing corrigendum. Of these five applications, four applicants appeared for interviews and of these four, the names of three persons have been sent to you for final selection by the present Chairman (Ravi Chaturvedi)... "

Mr. Sharma alleged that none of the original 21 applicants was found suitable and of the last-minute applications three have been recommended for final selection. He urged Prof. Pental to scrap the present panel of candidates and issue a fresh advertisement since the appointment had "ignored all rules and procedures''.

The last date for submitting applications for the post of Principal was January 9, 2006, while the interviews were held on January 31. Dr. Arora took over on February 21.

Madhusudan Tripathi of Chaudhry Charan Singh Meerut University, who had applied after the due date, accused the college administration of adopting a "non-transparent'' procedure in the Principal's appointment.

In his letter to the Delhi Education Minister -- which sponsors the college -- Dr. Tripathi claimed that he requested the Management Committee to accept his application but it refused to do so on the ground that the due date had already passed. He has inquired why the applications of others were entertained while his was rejected.

When contacted, Prof. Pental rubbished these claims and said that if good candidates apply after due date they would certainly be considered.

"If they are meritorious people, then how can you not consider them? Maybe the best people applied after the last date. Why don't you look at it from that perspective? In any case, the role of the University comes when the college presents a panel to us. We have done and will always do what is best for the college," he said.

In response to these allegations, Mr. Chaturvedi, who is the present Chairman, said: "As per an ordinance of Delhi University, it was very clear that the Governing Body can receive the applicants after the due date. There have been many cases where professors have been appointed in absentia if the Vice-Chancellor feels they are competent.''

"Baseless"

As for Dr. Tripathi's accusations, Mr. Chaturvedi said he had entertained all those who applied after the last date and all the charges were "baseless".

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