Congress today raised question mark over the ‘competence’ of HRD Minister Smriti Irani as it accused her of ‘interfering’ with autonomy of higher education institutions, following the resignation of eminent nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar as Chairman of Board of Governors of IIT Bombay.
“The absolute incompetence of the HRD Minister is destroying institutions that have been nurtured over decades. The morale of India’s education sector is plummeting,” party spokesperson Rajeev Gowda said and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in and take appropriate action to put the HRD Ministry back on track.
“The past 10 months have seen continuous denigration of higher education in this country. The HRD Minister has become a serial offender in blatantly subjugating the institutions of higher education by constantly interfering in their functioning.
“Whether it is the UGC, the IITs, the National Research Professorship Scheme in higher education or the Kendriya Vidyalayas on the issue of Sanskrit language, Smriti Irani has sought to kill the very basic spirit of autonomy that guided the emergence of every one of these institutions of excellence.” Gowda said.
Congress spokesperson’s remarks came in the wake of reports that Kakodkar resigned apparently because of differences with HRD Ministry over selection of some IIT Directors.
Kakodkar, whose tenure was supposed to end in May this year has, however, agreed to continue till that period after being persuaded by Irani who had a long telephonic conversation with him last evening, sources in the ministry said.