NEW DELHI -- In a move that is bound to unleash waves of protests in the national capital, the government has reportedly offered the position of the vice chancellor of famously left-leaning Jawaharlal Nehru University to controversial Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy. PTI reported, citing unnamed sources, that he has put some conditions before accepting the coveted post.
Swamy responded on Twitter to an admirer saying it will come to pass only if he accepts the offer, implicitly confirming that talks are on.
@BluruLad : It will happen only if I accept.— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 23, 2015
Media is on fire that I have been offered the JNU VC post. No formal offer nor will there be if the Govt cannot meet my pre- conditions— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) September 23, 2015
JNU is one of India's leading academic institutions and is well-known for the left-leaning student body and faculty members. Some of India's leading historians and economists, such as Romila Thapar and Prabhat Patnaik, have JNU affiliations.
If Subramanian Swamy is named to the post, it is bound to set off massive protests, rivalling the resistance offered by the students of the Film and Television Institute in Pune, when Gajendra Chauhan was named to helm it.
Swamy holds a PhD in economics from Harvard university. He has also been the petitioner behind many key cases that have exposed wrongdoing in recent years. But he holds divisive and controversial opinions. He said in an op-ed in 2011 that Muslims should accept their Hindu ancestry or give up their voting rights. Following the publication of the column, Harvard faculty chose to drop two summer economic courses taught by Swamy, calling him "insidious".
According to the PTI report, HRD Minister Smriti Irani has already spoken to Swamy about the offer, even before the Union Ministry has finalised the search-cum-selection committee for selecting the new VC. The current VC S K Sopory is set to retire in January next year.
As per the rules, a panel of names selected by the committee is sent to the President (who is Visitor of the central varsities) by the HRD Ministry before the announcement of the new VC.
The advertisements for inviting applications from the interested candidates for appointment of the new VC was given in August this year.
(with PTI inputs)