President suspends NIT-R’s BoG chairperson

Bhubaneswar: The President of India on Friday sacked Vasantha Ramaswamy, the honorary Chairperson of Board of Governors (BoG) of the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (NIT-R). The move followed the recommendation of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

Official sources said the MHRD took the action as she refused to tender her resignation even as former NIT-R director Prof SK Sarangi had put in his papers as per the direction of the MHRD in the last week of April.

Miffed with the tussle between Sarangi and Ramaswamy over administrative control of the premier institute, the MHRD was left with no option but to seek simultaneous resignations of the two in April 2016 and forward them to the President for approval.

At the one-to-one meeting with the Director and Chairperson at New Delhi, HRD Secretary VS Oberoi had instructed them to resign in the larger interests of the institute as the continuing administrative tussle between them was beyond reconciliation.

The spat over controlling administrative issues was reportedly 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.

Sarangi, on his part, had justified his action that he is abiding by the NIT Act in discharging his duties. Being the Chief Executive Officer of the institute, he is responsible for all administrative duties, he maintained.