NATIONAL ASSESSMENT and Accreditation Council (NAAC) chairperson Bhushan Patwardhan tendered his resignation on Sunday, days after alleging in a letter to the University Grants Commission (UGC) that universities were obtaining “questionable grades” through unfair means.
Patwardhan had first raised questions over accreditation processes and expressed a desire to resign on February 26, following which UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar appointed former AICTE chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe to the post on March 3.
NAAC is an autonomous body under the UGC that assesses and certifies higher educational institutions with gradings as part of accreditation.
In his resignation letter to Kumar on Sunday, Patwardhan wrote that he had “nothing personal in this matter” and was aiming to “safeguard the sanctity” of the post to which he was appointed in February 2022.
“After careful reconsideration of the entire subject, I hereby resign from the position of Chairman of the Executive Committee, NAAC, Bengaluru in the larger interest of the UGC, NAAC, and Indian higher education system with immediate effect i.e. on Monday, March 6, 2023 forenoon. I wish to reiterate that I had nothing personal in this matter but it was an act to safeguard self-respect and the sanctity of the post of Chairman EC and the NAAC,” Patwardhan wrote in his resignation letter.
Patwardhan had earlier opposed the move to appoint Sahasrabudhe in his place, saying it was done without informing him.
On March 4, he had written separately to Kumar, saying the UGC had misinterpreted his intent to resign on February 26 as a letter of resignation. “Prima facie, this hasty action shows a sorry state of administrative affairs and misuse of powers at UGC and NAAC,” he had written.
“In view of the above, I take this opportunity sincerely to make an appeal to the Ministry of Education, Government of India, New Delhi, to institute a thorough independent inquiry in this regard and book those who are responsible for this serious lapse on their part, in the interest of justice to protect my individual rights, dignity, and sanctity of UGC, NAAC, and Higher Educational Institutions in the country,” he had written in the letter to Kumar on March 4.
On Sunday, when contacted, Patwardhan said, “Now that I have given the resignation, this subject is closed for me.” The UGC has not yet commented on the matter.
In his February 26 letter to Kumar, Patwardhan had suggested that vested interests were manipulating the laid down norms governing the accreditation processes.
“Based on my experience, various complaints from the stakeholders, and review committee reports, I had expressed my apprehensions earlier about the possibility of vested interests, malpractices, and nexus among the persons concerned, offering thereby a green corridor by presumably manipulating…processes leading to the awarding of questionable grades to some HEIs. Mainly due to this, I had also suggested the need for an independent inquiry by appropriate high-level national agencies,” he had written on February 26.
Courtesy : The Indian Express