Today's Paper

Govt has double standard on UGC membership

When the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry removed psephologist Yogendra Yadav as member of the University Grants Commission (UGC) earlier this month stating that his association with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) “may not only set a dangerous precedent but may even give scope for future politicisation of the UGC and its academic decision making”, it failed to mention Subhash Yadav, former deputy Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, who was, more than a decade back, made a member of the body while he was an active politician.

Professor Yadav, an office-bearer of the AAP, was served a show-cause notice on September 4 by the Ministry and subsequently removed from the UGC which cited conflict of interest “as his antecedents and credentials at the time of his appointment in 2011 now stand substantially altered [after his joining the AAP].”

Subhash Yadav who passed away in June this year, was appointed member of the UGC in 1992 under the same provision of the UGC Act under which Prof. Yadav was appointed. The Act allows those persons with a background in academics, agriculture and industry to be appointed. Mr. Yadav was a practising farmer then and an active member of the Congress party.

Sources in the UGC said Mr. Yadav had attended several meetings of the UGC. He had been an important office-bearer of the Congress, both at the all-India and State-level.

Mr. Yadav had been a Congress MP in the Lok Sabha from Khargone constituency in 1980 and 1985 but had lost in the subsequent Lok Sabha election. In 1991, when the late Arjun Singh moved to Delhi as the Human Resource Development Minister, he had appointed Mr. Yadav as UGC member.

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