Govt order cites conflict of interest; not shocked, says Mr Yadav.
Activist Yogendra Yadav was on Wednesday sacked from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for being a member of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party as the government said his association with the top body of higher education may give a scope for its "future politicisation".
He was served a showcause notice on September 4 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development citing conflict of interest "as his antecedents and credentials at the time of his appointment in 2011 and now, stand substantially altered".
In its order, the ministry said, "The central government in pursuance of powers vested under Rule 6 of UGC (Disqualification, Retirement and Conditions of Service of the Members) Rules 1992 hereby retires Yogendra Yadav from the post of member UGC with immediate effect."
The order said that Mr Yadav's association with both AAP and the UGC has created a conflict of interest, and may set a dangerous precedent. "It may even scope for future politicisation of UGC and its academic decision making," the order said.
Mr Yadav said he is not shocked by the government's decision. "As a political analyst, I was expecting this," he told NDTV.
The activist also questioned the government's decision and said he would not have faced such fate had he joined Congress. "Do people who belong to the ruling parties stay on such boards or do they not? Has this government ever cited conflict of interest in these things? There was a time when the government had packed the entire UGC with people who owned private universities. Isn't that the worst form of conflict of interest? Did the government ever think of conflict of interest?" he told NDTV.
Mr Yadav said he fears such moves may end up creating a precedent which may be used by governments against their detractors.