Kalpana Palkhiwala, Deputy Director (Media & Communications), Ministry of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment and Forests, writes:
This refers to the news report titled “Will Vigyan Prasar find the right head?” (The Hindu, Dec. 21).
The advertisement for the post of Director, Vigyan Prasar, clearly stipulates the essential qualifications, age and experience. The duly approved Committee had shortlisted candidates strictly according to the eligibility criteria stipulated in the advertisement. Three of the four candidates named in the report are overage and one of them does not possess a Ph.D. The fourth candidate (who is internal to Vigyan Prasar) does not possess a doctorate in the subject stipulated for the Directorship of Vigyan Prasar.
Our Correspondent responds:
The Ministry's letter speaks of the eligibility of four candidates that find mention in my article. My article clearly says: “From the contents of Prof. Ramachandraiah's letter it would seem that he met all these criteria and yet he was not shortlisted. Though one cannot say if this is true of other applicants who have not been shortlisted as well, some other well-known figures in science communication in the country like Dr. Gauhar Raza of the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) of CSIR and Dr. T.V. Venkateswaran of VP itself have not been found suitable for being shortlisted. It is not clear what technicality made these candidates ineligible.”
Prof. Ramachandraiah has written a letter in protest, I have not spoken about the other candidates being wrongly rejected. As regards Prof. Ramachandraiah, it is still correct to say that he has been rejected unfairly because in spite of his age being 53 against the criterion of 52 years specified in the advertisement, he is an OBC which, as per government rules, requires a relaxation of three years.