New Delhi: With barely three weeks remaining for his retirement, HRD ministry is understood to have recommended to the President to ask Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh to go on forced leave only to withdraw the request within hours.
The Vice Chancellor is alleged to have endorsed the name of former ISRO Chief K Kasturirangan in the selection panel for the next VC even as he continues to remain a honorary professor thus giving rise to conflict of interest.
The ministry has also asked the university to propose another name in place of Kasturirangan, though DU denied having received any such communication.
Reacting to the latest development, Singh feigned ignorance about the ministry's communication to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"We have also not received communication so far asking for a replacement for Kasturirangan. If the same is communicated to us, we will take measures accordingly," he told PTI.
The development comes shortly before Singh retires as a VC after completing an eventful tenure on October 28.
Though the ministry officials as well as the spokesperson declined to comment on the latest developments, sources said the ministry had to withdraw the request sent to the President (Visitor to Central universities) apparently as Rashtrapati Bhavan was not inclined to take any action with barely few weeks remaining for his retirement.
Singh and the Ministry have been at the loggerheads ever since the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) row with the latter issuing him a show-cause notice allegedly as he had not taken due approvals for rolling out the programme.
While no action was initiated against him, following his reply, Singh was dropped from a delegation accompanying the President to Israel and Jordan later this week because Ministry feels that the MoUs signed by him may not hold much significance.
Asked about the K Kasturirangan episode, sources said, the university statutes don't allow a professor associated with the university being nominated into the selection panel for appointment of the new VC.
Singh, however, dismissed contention that Kasturirangan's name was deliberately put up so as to create a controversy and delay appointment of a new VC thus giving him few more time to be in office.
"I will not continue a day beyond my October 28 nor will I accept any offer in this regard," he said.