Hundreds of academics and lawyers, under the banner of Citizens Committee in Support of Yogendra Yadav, on Saturday termed the removal of the social scientist as a member of the University Grants Commission “thoroughly illegal,” and demanded his immediate reinstatement.
Addressing a press conference here, eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan said the whole country was “exercised and perturbed” at the Centre’s decision to retire the eminent educationist from the UGC for his affiliation with the Aam Aadmi Party. The decision would not have “even two per cent chance of being sustained in court and yet the government has made this order in the secure belief that Prof Yadav would not challenge it,” he said.
Activist Kuldip Nayar said the dismissal underlined the fact that autonomous bodies were undervalued. When the UGC was conceived, it was meant to be autonomous and when Prof. Yadav was appointed as a member, it was for his objectivity.
Expressing dismay and outrage on behalf of teachers, Delhi University Teachers Association president Nandita Narayan said Prof. Yadav’s removal amounted to snuffing out dissent. “I would say we are outraged but not shocked because we [at DU] have been experiencing the crushing of every form of dissent, especially in the last five years, by our Vice-Chancellor and the government.”
The process of academic restructuring at DU started with the introduction of the semester system followed by the launch of a four-year programme in the most bizarre manner, without any discussion and without the UGC fulfilling its duty and responsibility in the matter, she said.
According to Ms. Narayan, Prof. Yadav raised his voice against implementation of the four-year course, and questioned the manner in which a teacher training institute was proposed to be set up in the constituency of a minister, without even having a department of education.