Members of the governing body of the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT) here has taken strong exception to the removal of D. Narayana as director of the institute.

In a letter to Finance Minister K.M. Mani, the governing body members said they were ‘distressed and disappointed’ at the way Prof. Narayana’s tenure as director of GIFT was curtailed without any reference to the governing body and contrary to the decision taken by the governing body to appoint him for a period of five years in April, 2012.

“The entire episode shows utter disregard for conventions and propriety and we hope you will be gracious enough to act swiftly to reverse the decision, respecting the decision of the governing body,” they said.

The governing body passed the resolution to appoint Prof. Narayana for five years based on the recommendation of a search committee headed by State Planning Board Vice-Chairman K.M. Chandrasekhar.

“Reducing the term to one year and later extending it by another six months, without any reference to the governing body, is in our view, inappropriate and not in the interest of the institution,” they said.

They also felt that the government’s action was “against the basic principle of governance of a knowledge institution, and in complete disregard of established norms and propriety and natural justice.

The entire academic community will have reasons to feel aggrieved with this act. Above all, this will deliver a body blow to the development of the institute”, they added.

The signatories to the statement were S. Parasuraman, director, TISS, Mumbai, C. Rammanohar Reddy, editor, Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai, Sushil Khanna, professor, IIM, Kolkata, M. Govinda Rao, member, 14th Finance Commission, New Delhi, Abhijit Sen, member, Planning Commission, New Delhi, Prabhat Patnaik, professor emeritus, JNU, New Delhi, Pulin Nayak, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, A.V. Jose, former head, education programme, ILO International Institute for Labour Studies, Geneva, Venkatesh Athreya, professor and head, Department of Economics, Bharathidasan University, Thiruchirapalli, K. Narayanan Nair, former director, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, and K.K. George, Centre for Socio-Economic and Environmental Studies, Kochi.