In a rerun of what was done to Prof A K Singh, a reputed IIT-Bombay scientist, who resigned as vice-chancellor of Allahabad University (a central univ. esb 1887) in 2014, the present VC, Prof Rattan Lal Hangloo was made to resign on January 2 by the union ministry of Human Resources Development, over alleged irregularities charges made by the National Commission of Women chairperson, Rekha Sharma. NCW in December 2019 had summoned the AU VC over allegations of improper handling of sexual harassment complaints and lack of a grievance cell for redressal of such charges.
However, Prof Hangloo, who has been on the position of vice-chancellor since December 30, 2015 and has ‘braved’ three inquiries of similar nature all these last four years with each of those proving baseless, refutes the allegations and said the commission never gave him its report. “Let the NCW prove the charges before the CBI, let them prove them before the High Court,” he said.
The teaching faculty and staff at Allahabad University and several colleges have meanwhile rallied behind VC Hangloo and registered protests demanding that his resignation shouldn’t be accepted. Dr Niranjan Singh, joint head of publicity at All India Swadeshi Jagran Manch in a statement has said that the sudden resignation by VC is a matter of grave concern for the university. “VC has not given resignation on his own but was pressurized by the ministry of HRD. “We have sent an email to the Prime Minister to bring back the resignation and get this matter investigated at highest level,” he said.
Many experts also feel that the latest action in which NCW report is cited as a reason behind making Prof Hangloo resign is a hogwash, the actual reason is the political pressure that was always on him. As an upright administrator instead of giving in or compromising his integrity, earlier he had sent three volumes of replies with explanations and evidence on his side to a series of complaints made against him to ministry of HRD. His taking the bull by horns won him a lot of support from the silent majority in the university who earlier looked helpless, but at the same time, earned him more enemies as well. Col Hitesh Love (retd) who served as a registrar at the AU, was investigated by a committee appointed by VC Hangloo and eventually in July 2018, his services were ended for charges of corruption and other irregularities. He has since contested his removal in the court. It is said that NCW chair is close to this person and she was always on look out for an opportunity to take on Hangloo.
Richa Singh, a former student union leader and a scholar close to Samajwadi Party, too has an old grudge against Hangloo and the AUSU used the recent sexual harassment complaint to up its ante against him and held a campus protest against his so called authoritarian and unconstitutional conduct. They celebrated his resignation.
Notwithstanding the technicalities behind the resignation, the fact is that soon after AU became a central university in 2005, in no time it turned into a battle ground where caste, prejudice and corruption had penetrated to such an extent that a big bunch of brilliant teachers also were rendered incapable in performing their duty. Prof A.K.Singh was forced to resign. Now, the same mafia has taken on Prof R L Hangloo, who showed some spine and also brought some welcome reforms. Allahabad University is an institution that holds an immense potential not only to transform the regional landscape and people but become an epicenter of reengineering education. Only if powers to be realize this and understand the immense value of higher education towards such a change.
In later developments as per a statement issued by the ministry of HRD, “The President of India in his capacity as the Visitor of the University of Allahabad has been pleased to accept the resignation of Prof. R. L. Hangloo with immediate effect.” The VC had tendered his resignation vide his letter dated 31.12.2019 from his post on personal grounds.
An enquiry into the allegations of financial, academic and administrative irregularities including the recommendations contained in their Interim Report No. 8/18115/2019/NCW/RD/DS of the National Commission for Women regarding alleged misconduct against Prof. Rattan Lal Hangloo, Vice-Chancellor, University of Allahabad has also been ordered.
The senior most Professor of the University shall perform the duties of the office of Vice Chancellor of University of Allahabad till the regular Vice Chancellor is appointed or until further orders, whichever is earlier.