NDA vice-principal resigns, says nothing to do with row

AcademyNational Defence Academy

Amid a row over appointment of principal/ vice-principal at the National Defence Academy (NDA), vice-principal professor A Devikar has resigned from his post.

Devikar reportedly put in his papers within days of The Indian Express report on how UGC norms were not adhered to in appointment of principal and vice-principal in 2011. He, however, said his resignation was technical and had nothing to do with the report.

While his resignation is yet to be accepted by NDA top bosses, sources said he will rejoin the Department of Geography which he headed before his appointment as vice-principal. Devikar confirmed this.

This newspaper had on April 18 reported how UGC norms were sidestepped in appointment of principal/ vice-principal in 2011. In November 2009, UGC had asked Headquarters-Integrated Defence Staff (HQ-IDS), New Delhi, to revise Recruitment Rules (RR) for all posts of civilian academic officers as per UGC norms. However, NDA authorities, while revising RRs for all academic employees to bring them in line with UGC norms, allegedly did not do so for principal and vice-principal. Thus, when NDA issued an ad on April 15, 2011 for principal/ vice-principal, key eligibility requirements that could have disqualified some candidates, had the RR been revised, were omitted. Documents with The Indian Express show that key eligibility criteria such as mandatory Academic Performance Indicator (API) of 400, as laid down by UGC, were dropped. NDA's version on this had been awaited for over 45 days. An email seeking NDA's views was sent on March 18 before publishing the report, followed by yet another email on April 22. NDA officials as well as professor Devikar said his resignation is 'technical' and has no relation to the "so called" sidelining of UGC norms. An NDA official who said the resignation was on technical grounds. "He will be returning to the parent department Geography, where he was HoD."

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