Members oppose selection process for UGC secretary post

Controversies surrounding appointments in the University Grants Commission continue unabated with two commission members, Prof M M Ansari and Prof Seyed E Hasnain, objecting to the ongoing selection process for the post of UGC secretary.

In a letter to the UGC Additional Secretary, Ansari has pointed to the "ongoing strife among senior officials of the commission" and cast aspersions on the agenda of the October 20 meeting of the selection panel. He has alleged that the hurry to appoint a secretary indicates that the purpose of the meeting is to "punish someone and reward others rather than to select a competent officer..." He has also sought postponement of the meeting so that the matter could be taken up at the full UGC meeting on October 22.

Earlier this week, an MP had written to the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the selection process. Complaints on the issue have also reached the Minorities Commission, Central Vigilance Commission and the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Both Ansari and Hasnain want the process to be scrapped and have also objected to Vice-Chairman Prof Ved Prakash, the officiating chairman, presiding over the selection process. Hasnain has also questioned the selection process to the posts of financial adviser to UDC and director, administration. He alleged that the appointments to these posts and the process to select the Secretary violates government rules.

The selection process ran into rough weather from the start with acting Secretary Niloufer Kazmi challenging it on grounds that there was no minority representative on the selection panel, an argument rejected by the HRD ministry.

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