ROURKELA: The students and teachers of National Institute of Technology-Rourkela (NIT-R) have expressed anguish over the decision of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry asking Director Prof SK Sarangi and honorary Chairperson of the Board of Governors (BoG) Vasanta Ramaswamy to resign.
Although there has been no official communication on it yet, the students and faculty members are unhappy with the ‘unceremonious’ ouster of the Director.
The Director, who is on way to Rourkela from Delhi, confirmed the decision of the HRD over phone. “Upon return to the campus, I will put in my resignation,” Sarangi said.
Sources said that the Director, honorary Chairperson and Registrar SK Upadhyay were summoned to appear before the Ministry on Friday.
At the one-to-one meeting with the Director and Chairperson, HRD Secretary VS Oberoi is learnt to have instructed them to resign in the larger interest of the institute as the continuing administrative tussle between them was beyond reconcilement.
The HRD refrained from taking direct action against Upadhyay, but indicated that he would have to go after completion of an inquiry. Till such time, Upadhyay would be without portfolio.
The spat over controlling administrative issues was continuing from January 2015. The Chairperson was accused of trying to impose her own set of rules interpreting that the BoG is above the Director.
The Director, on his part, justified his action that he is abiding by the NIT Act in discharging his duties and being the Chief Executive Officer of the institute, he is responsible for all administrative duties.
Upadhyay, who has been accused of receiving orders from the Chairperson by bypassing the Director, was suspended on September 20 by the Director for ‘gross insubordination and dereliction of duty’.
However, his suspension was withdrawn in January, but he continues to be without portfolio.
Secretary, PR Committee of the institute, RK Sinha said the Director has transformed NIT-R during his 13 years tenure into a role model for other NITs of the country and gave it a recognition at national and international levels. The Director deserves a fair deal with a ceremonial adieu on May 25, when his term ends, Sinha added.