New Delhi: Psephologist and senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party Yogendra Yadav on Thursday said he will not step down from the University Grants Commission. He clarified that the showcause notice was not served to him by the UGC but by the Human Resouces and Development Ministry and signed by the secretary of the HRD. Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, he said he's being targeted for opposing the ministry's move.
"I had opposed coming up of an Inter-University Centre on teacher training institution in Kakinada and the HRD Minister may not have liked my opposition," he said. Kakinada incidentally happens to be HRD minister Pallam Raju's constituency.
He said that he had conveyed to the HRD Ministry in October 2012 about his involvement in politics. "When informed about my involvement in politics, the ministry told me that there was no problem," he said. "Even my colleagues persuaded me not leave the UGC," he added. He expressed no regrets on joining politics and said, "I'm aware there's cost attached to it."
He also named a few of the politicians who were professors too and said, "We have a healthy tradition of professors joining politics."
As a political analyst, he said he would not expect the government to allow him to continue in an autonomous body like UGC and he will respond to the notice within seven days.
"In the last four or five months, the government has tried to push few measures through the UGC, which have violated the rules and regulations and procedures within the UGC. They go against the spirit of higher education be it in the matter of entry of foreign institutions from the backdoor or imposition of API scores in universities in a non-autonomous way or in creating inter-university centre in the constituency of the Education Minister. I had opposed all these measures because they were not good for higher education in this country," Yadav said.
The ministry said that his status has undergone a change since he was made a member of the UGC during Kapil Sibal's tenure as he is now a senior AAP leader, leading to a conflict of interest.