Andhra Pradesh, Beyond Metros, India

Rohith Vemula row: UoH VC will not be replaced, says Centre

The Centre has refused to transfer University of Hyderabad (UoH) vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile, even though he has been accused of playing a role in Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.  The ministry of human resources development (MHRD) said there is “no provision” for the VC’s transfer to another varsity under the UoH rules. The remarks came in response to a PIL seeking Podile’s removal.

“The MHRD  is the nodal ministry of all the central universities, including UoH, but has no role to play in day-to-day affairs of these central universities,” the ministry said in an affidavit filed before the Hyderabad high court on Monday.

“Vice-chancellor of UoH is appointed by President of India in the capacity of the visitor of the university and there is no provision of transfer of the VC of UOH to other central university under the provisions of UoH Acts and Statutes as the appointment is made on contractual basis,” it further added.

The affidavit was filed in response to the Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao’s public interest litigation questioning Podile’s return to duty onMarch 22, despite facing charges under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for abetting Vemula’s suicide on January 17.

The vice-chancellor had gone on leave after the suicide, as a row of protest and agitations started across the nation and university remained tensed a long period of time. Podile returned on March 22 after the situation came under control.

Later, Podile’s return triggered violence in the UoH premises as students demanded that he should be removed. The Union government had clarified that it played no role in allowing Podile to resume his charge.

It also declared that it had no role in appointments at the autonomous university. Telangana police have been dragging its feet in the Dalit scholar suicide case as it is waiting for the Guntur collector’s report on the scholar’s caste to proceed further.

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