New Delhi, Sept. 11: UGC member Yogendra Yadav has invoked the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru to defend his dual role as a political activist and academician.
Yadav did so today in his reply to an HRD showcause asking him to explain why he should not be removed from the commission over his association with Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Yadav said Buddhist scholar Acharya Narendra Dev was appointed vice-chancellor of two universities consecutively just after Independence despite being president of the Socialist Party, then the leading Opposition.
“From what I know, Jawaharlal Nehru was instrumental in persuading Acharyaji to take up the position. Party politics may have travelled a long way since then, but I would like to believe that the inheritors of that legacy would not wish to undo everything that Nehru did,” Yadav said.
Yadav said the UGC’s mandate was to involve independent-minded academics in framing higher education policy. Doing away with this autonomy will erase the distinction between the UGC, the government and the ruling party, he argued.
Yadav also cited institutions run by MPs who also discharge responsibilities as lawmakers.