Respecting the sanctity of IITs
News surrounding the resignation of IIT Delhi director, two years before the end of his term, has pointed towards gross interference by the current administration. According to reports, IIT Delhi director K Shevgaonkar was under massive pressure from the Human Resource Development Ministry to reportedly release pay of nearly Rs 70 lakh to former faculty and now senior BJP leader Subramanium Swamy as his ‘salary dues’ between 1972 and 1991. Faculty from IIT Delhi have maintained that Swamy did not provide the institute with the requisite information and documents it needs to clear his salary dues. These details include Swamy’s earnings from the time of his termination as a professor in 1972 to March 1991, when he was reinstated following a court order. The case has taken an interesting trajectory. It began with Swamy demanding his salary dues during the period along with an 18% interest, which both the IIT and the erstwhile HRD ministry had rejected. Last year, subsequently, the Delhi High Court dismissed the institute’s plea that his petition should not be entertained. After the arrival of the Modi-led government at the Centre, however, the HRD ministry’s stance has changed. The resignation of a prestigious institute’s director, over alleged pressure from the central administration, sends a bad signal. These events affect the sanctity and prestige of an esteemed university. Preferably, all of us would appreciate less interference by the government, and let the law take its own course.