Since University had not responded, the Ministry persistently sent reminders

Rohith suicide MHRD says sending repeated reminders to HCU was standard procedureImage: Rohith Vemula/ Facebook, Smriti Irani/ PTI
news Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 07:49

Accepting that they had sent 5 letters to the Hyderabad Central University over the issue of action against Dalit students, the Union HRD Ministry has said that their repeated reminders were standard procedure for "VIP references". The MHRD has written letters asking what action was taken on Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya’s complaint on “anti-national activities” on the campus and the “violent attack” on an ABVP leader.

HRD officials however claimed that after Dattatreya, MP from Secunderabad, wrote the letter on August 17 last year, the ministry only followed the standard practice by writing to the University on September 3, seeking the "issues raised by the MoS may be examined and facts intimated." 

"It would be wrong to say that the Ministry has put any pressure on the Hyderabad University. The Ministry had only followed the procedure as per the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure."

"According to the procedure, if there is a VIP reference, it has to be acknowledged in 15 days and another 15 days may be taken to reply to it. Since no response was coming from the University, the Ministry had to send reminders," HRD Ministry spokesperson Ghanshyam Goel said.

After its first letter, the ministry sent four reminders on - September 24, October 6, October 20 and November 19 last year, to the University seeking facts expeditiously so that it could respond to the Minister of State Dattatreya.

HRD officials said the University finally provided a reply only on January 7, this year.

An official said not only are the ministries supposed to reply in a time bound manner to VIP reference, but even in Cabinet meetings, the number of pending references, greivances, assurances etc has to be shared which makes it important that these are pursued.

HRD minister Smriti Irani, who today visited Assam and accompanied the Prime Minister to IIIT Guwahati, had yesterday said the government neither intervenes in functioning of the university nor does it have administrative control over it.

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