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Updated: September 19, 2013 01:48 IST

Yogendra Yadav sacked

Aarti Dhar
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Yogendra Yadav
The Hindu Yogendra Yadav

I am paying the price for taking on the regime, says the psephologist

The Central government on Wednesday removed psephologist Yogendra Yadav from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for joining the Aam Admi Party, saying his association with the UGC “may not only set a dangerous precedent but may even give scope for future politicisation of the UGC and its academic decision making.”

Professor Yadav, an office-bearer of the AAP, was served a show-cause notice on September 4 by the Human Resource Development Ministry. The notice cited conflict of interest “as his antecedents and credentials at the time of his appointment in 2011 now stand substantially altered.”

In its order issued late in the evening, the Ministry said: “The Central government, in pursuance of powers vested under Rule 6 of the UGC (Disqualification, Retirement and Conditions of Service of the Members) Rules 1992, hereby retires Yogendra Yadav from the post of member, UGC, with immediate effect.”

Professor Yadav told The Hindu that though he was yet to receive the order, he had come to know about it from the media. “I am surprised that the government has decided to go ahead with its decision despite knowing there was nothing in the UGC Act, Rules and Code of Conduct that barred an active member of a political party from being a member. Being a student of political science, I understand the games governments play. If you dare to take on a regime, you must be prepared to pay the price,” he said.

Pointing out that he had not yet decided whether or how to pursue the matter since there was nothing personal in it, he said it was a place where he thought he could contribute to higher education. “Ordinarily, the matter should rest here, but the question is will it be a precedent that whoever asks uneasy questions will be thrown out? I do not want to become that precedent.”

Rejecting his response to the show-cause notice, the Ministry said: “The implicit intention of lawmakers was exclusion of politicians (from the UGC). The UGC members till now have been appointed only on this basis, which is proved from the fact that never was a UGC member retired by any government even when the ruling party changed at the Centre from time to time.”

In his reply on September 10, Professor Yadav described the notice as politically motivated and, while refusing to step down, sought to know whether the Ministry would have acted with similar “zeal” had he joined Congress. He also referred to Acharya Narendra Deva, a renowned scholar of Buddhism and national president of the Socialist Party, a leading Opposition party of the day, who was appointed Vice-Chancellor of two universities consecutively by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Dismissing Mr. Yadav’s observations, the order said the example of Deva was not relevant in the present context as the UGC Act took effect in 1956, the year in which he died. “The UGC has made the post of Vice-Chancellor a selection post and has laid down qualifications for it. The selection of Deva by Nehru had happened long before these developments. Those were extraordinary times requiring exceptional measures and means. Indian democracy has traversed a long distance since then.”

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This is not about rules as the UGC Rules don't forbid a member of a
political party from continuing as a commission member. Yadav has
also pointed this out in his reply. Neither is this about the loss of
Yadav's personal prestige. This is our loss as Yadav's (honorary)
position within the UGC ensured that some right questions would
continue to be asked to a Government which is subverting policy and
breaking rules all the time. But, as he has rightly observed, this
move to sack him is a political one. It shows the extent to which our
public institutions have been breached by power-politics.

from:  Saikat Ghosh
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 20:45 IST

While this news is being flashed as a big item by the entire media, the
AP high Court decision just two days ago, striking down Kiran Kumar
Reddy's appointment of four Congress party members as State Information
Commissioners has received scant attention. If Congress was acting with
alacrity in Yadav's case, why was the AP Chief Minister allowed to do
so? And the CM is reported to be even contesting the decision in the
Supreme Court!

from:  N.S.Rajan
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 19:47 IST

The observation by Mr. Yadav that you have to pay a price if you
decide to take upon the regime is an universal fact. It applies to
every one in every walk of life. He says that there is nothing in the
UGC rules that prevents him to remain as an active member of a
political party. As a student of political science he should be
knowing better than me. However, the Government servants' conduct
rules prohibit participation by a government servant in political
activities, leave alone membership. In this context (i) I appreciate
him for his courage to take upon the regime (I have nothing to say
about his political affiliation) (ii) I wonder why government servants
should be barred from expressing political opinion in a democracy.
(This condition has kept me mum for nearly 35 years till my retirement
from service).
It will be better if more and more people rise up and question wrong
doing.

from:  D. Darwin Albert Raj
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 18:55 IST

I respect Mr.Yadav, but the action taken by UGC is right one. Rules
should be same for all.

from:  Abinash Sahoo
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 14:57 IST

respected yadav ji,
this is a small price you are paying for being in line of fire. what else they can do. please do not look back. I suppose your resolve will be strengthened after this. I am a very small person as against you, you are learned. please do not be bogged down by these forces.

from:  mahesh kumar
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 14:51 IST

Politicisation of academic instituitions have to be avoided wherever possible. We have seen its ugly effects with politically affiliated persons manning university administrative bodies in Kerala. And, in Yadav's case, too there should be no exception.

from:  GEORGE VARGHESE
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 13:06 IST

The UGC decision is most unfortunate and unacceptable. I will be happy if UGC comes out with detailed press and media release to let the Nation know who these "BUDDIMAN" officials of UGC took this decision and who approved. Not because Prof. Yadav is a member of Political party today but we have known and seen him a highly qualified and competent person who should and must be a associated with UGC. This matter must be taken in the High Court or Supreme Court for a test case and for future guidance & education of people in power in UGC

from:  kishlayakumar
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 12:48 IST

It was definitely the correct decision. Politicization at such higher stature should be stopped, otherwise the UGC will be another parliament with hung sessions not going forward.

from:  Raju
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 12:45 IST

it's really unfortunate for all of us to loose a person like Mr.Yadav
from UCG who can stand up against HRD ministry itself,forget about
academic mafia in this country. it's also very much strange that
academic fraternity to which Mr.Yadav belongs,also kept mum all the
time. Lust for position and power has eroded the teachers and education
system of India to its bottom.

from:  kamlakant pandey
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 11:50 IST

A very sad day for India! Teachers are an important and enlightened
section of the society and they have a stake in the future of the
nation. This is the duty and responsibility of every citizen, teachers
being no exception, to defend the nation and participate in its growth.
Activist teacher Yogendra Yadav is doing his job at UGC professionally
and that is what is important. Can a teacher not wear several hats? In
fact every teacher has to. Nation first, Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai
Vigyan and Jai Hind.

from:  Raj Kamal Gujral
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 08:20 IST

What about Politician's controlling our sports departments and the state cricket boards and spoiling the dignity of the game? Bring in legislation to remove those criminal Politicians from holding those offices merely for the sake of monetary profits and blocking the young talents of our future.

from:  martinsanthakumar
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 04:43 IST

The Congress party has got jittery and is absolutely scared. The party
is rudderless and finds an enemy in any one and everyone. This is really
ridiculous putting it mildly.

from:  J S RAMAN
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 03:20 IST

Though I am admirer of Prof. Yogendra yadav for his incisive analysis of psephology
, I do not find anything wrong with the government action.

from:  V. Sethuraman
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 03:06 IST

it's a price to stand opposite from the regime. Specially for a Current Govt. people should ready to accept this kind of prize , either it's Honest Govt. Servant or high dignitaries. We have a very great respect for Yogendra Yadav.

from:  Gautam
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 02:57 IST

The present day UGC is an inanimate object devoid of intellect and does
not command public respect. The highly renowned Bombay, Madras, Andhra
and Jadhavpur campuses, all lost their sheen. At that level if the
commission does not go by upholding truth, when? Yogendra was right. If
he was to be sacked for joining AAP it should have happened on day one
itself.

from:  Vyas K Susarla
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 02:33 IST

One can differentiate two aspects in this issue - one is legal - what the regulations say on the issue; the other is ethical - is the existing law/ regulation a justified construct based on norms of society. Since I am not an expert on either, I look forward to reading views of experts in law and experts in ethics on the issue.

from:  amar
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 02:26 IST

This shows that UPA government will compromise on moral ethics that if any body
questions them, they will go down to any lowest level. I hope that Prof. Yadav will
continue his fight for the common man's cause and i am sure that he might have
faced many hurdles of this kind. Bravo! I salute to him in his endeavour.

from:  murali
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 01:31 IST

A sad day for UGC. Yogendra Yadav is an unusual politician, a new generation of that
rare breed of people who bring culture, refinement, dignity and statesmanship to
politics.

from:  P.N.Shreeniwas
Posted on: Sep 19, 2013 at 00:06 IST
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