Personal reasons behind MANY institute heads’ resignations: Irani

The heads of some educational organisations have stepped down because of “personal reasons” and not because of pressure by the HRD ministry, the government said on Monday.

Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha said “the resignations were entirely on personal reasons, therefore no inquiry was called for”.

On whether pressure was exerted on Anil Kakodkar, chairperson of the board of governors at IIT-Bombay, and other people to submit their resignations so as to appoint preferred people, she said Kakodkar “requested to be relieved from his responsibilities as chairperson… but agreed to continue till the end of his tenure, i.e. May 11, 2015”.

Irani said IIT-Delhi director R.K. Shevgaonkar “submitted his resignation due to personal reasons”.

“The Board of Governors of IIT-Delhi desired that in the larger interests of the institute, he should continue as director,” she said.

The minister said the board endorsed the resignation which was accepted with effect from June 11, 2015.

Kakodkar and Shevgaonkar’s resignations had raised doubts that they had resigned owing to government pressure.

The minister further said that former NCERT director Parvin Sinclair sought “premature repatriation from the post on personal grounds”.

She was repatriated to her parent office and relieved from NCERT on October 20, 2014.

Irani said the vice chancellor of the University of Hyderabad resigned on “personal grounds” and demitted office on January 28, 2015, and the Assam University vice chancellor submitted that he was unable to continue because of “some personal and family considerations and requested to release him from the responsibilities and to treat request as letter of resignation”.

The minister said the credibility and autonomy of the institution was not impacted due to the resignations of such people.