HRD Ministry chides DU registrar, says unhappy with her conduct

The Delhi University administration, which has been embroiled in a controversy surrounding the four-year undergraduate programme, may soon lose the services of one of its key members – Registrar Alka Sharma. She might be sent back to the Department of Personnel and Training after the Human Resource Development Ministry sent a strongly worded letter stating that her conduct has affected the university’s image and that students as well as teachers are unhappy with her while highlighting her particular role in “bulldozing” the FYUP.

“She was the symbol of oppression more than anything else, it was her letters that went to teachers warning them against taking part in protests and threatening them with repercussions if they do. Her high-handedness was resented by teachers. We received several complaints against her from teachers who were humiliated personally. Also, her continuance in office has been in question for a long time. She was allowed to act with extra-constitutional authority,” said Delhi University Teachers’ Association president Nandita Narain, adding that several actions of Ms. Sharma had harmed the university in such a manner that would take years to rectify.

Representations from teachers have asked the Ministry, with the DUTA demanding her removal. “According to the rules, no government officer is allowed more than seven years of deputation. Ms. Sharma, at a director-level post, is entitled to five years. She completed seven years on January 21, 2014, with an understanding that there will be no further extension. But, on January 24, her stay was extended till June 2015 in violation of rules,” added Ms. Narain.

Ms. Sharma would also send out letters to several newspapers pointing out the “repeated factually incorrect and biased reporting” of individual journalists, while also stating that the newspaper must note these grave concerns of the university without “prejudice to any other action the university may contemplate”.

The teachers had become specifically resentful when the UGC’s code of conduct was made actionable by the university.

Teachers showing up at FYUP protests were told that they were inciting students and other teachers against the authority and usually faced the prospect of a cut in pay. These letters promising action were sent again by Ms. Sharma.

A teacher summed up the development: “Delhi University’s Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh may be the subject of protest posters calling him autocratic, asking him to go back to wherever he came from and more recently, the face of the controversy that managed to stay on prime-time television for an entire week while the FYUP roll-back fiasco was being played out. But, the real reason for the acrimony, the resentment that the teachers had towards was the Registrar.”

The Hindu tried to contact Ms. Sharma to ask if she felt she was being a scapegoat in this entire issue, but there was no response from her end.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:53:12 AM |

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