Varsity VCs pen open letter against Rahul Gandhi: ‘Resorting to falsehood for political mileage’

Vice-chancellors demand stringent legal action against Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi Congress leader Rahul Gandhi | PTI

As many as 181 academicians, including vice chancellors and former VCs, have accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of spreading "falsehood" regarding the appointment process for university heads and sought lawful action against him.

In an open letter, they said the Congress leader has alleged that vice chancellors are appointed solely on the basis of affiliation with some organisation rather than merit as they slammed his claims. “The process by which VCs are selected is characterised by stringent and transparent rigorous procedure grounded in the values of meritocracy, scholarly distinction and integrity,” they claimed.

awaharlal University Vice Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, Delhi University VC Yogesh Singh and AICTE Chairman T.G. Sitharam are among the academicians who have signed onto the letter. “The selection has been completely based on academic and administrative prowess and with a vision to take universities ahead,” they said.

Though they did not quote Gandhi's specific claims, the Congress leader has in the past alleged that affiliations with the Hindutva organisation RSS is often the guiding factor in appointments to academia.

Among the signatories to the letter are Vinay Pathak, VC, CSJM University, Kanpur; Bhagwati Prakash Sharma, Chancellor, Pacific University, Udaipur; N.C. Gautam, former VC, Mahatma Gandhi Gramodaya Vishvavidyalaya, Chitrakoot; Alok Chakkarval, VC, Guru Ghasidas Central University, Bilaspur and Vinay Kapoor, fomer VC, BR Ambedkar National Law University, Sonipat.

“Universities in India have undergone a significant transition as evident in their ascent in global rankings, prominent accreditations, world class research and innovations, curriculum facelift narrowing the industry academia gap and higher placement prospects reaffirming their commitment to academic quality and societal relevance,” they asserted.

They said, "The array of academic disciplines and professional experiences represented amongst us stands as evidence of the unbiased and inclusive nature of the selection procedure. It reflects their dedication to cultivating an atmosphere that values and promotes diversity, encourages independent thinking, and supports scholastic achievement.”

"Rahul Gandhi has resorted to falsehood and has defamed the office of the vice chancellors at large with the intent to derive political mileage out of it. It is, therefore, earnestly prayed that appropriate action be taken against him forthwith in accordance with law," they said.

The academics said in their letter that as guardians of knowledge and administrators of academia, they maintain an unwavering commitment to maintaining the utmost levels of governance integrity, ethical behaviour, and institutional integrity.

Urging everyone involved to exercise discernment in distinguishing fact from fiction, to abstain from spreading unfounded rumours, they called for dialogue that is well-informed, constructive, and supportive of their shared goal of creating a dynamic and inclusive educational environment.  

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