Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shocking: Prof. Shevgaonkar has resigned?


Shocking, if true:

IIT Delhi director Raghunath K Shevgaonkar has quit more than two years before the end of his term. A senior IIT official confirmed the news on Saturday though human resource development ministry officials claimed they were unaware of it.

Shevgaonkar has been under tremendous pressure from the ministry to accede to two of its demands, IIT sources said. He was reportedly asked to provide the IIT ground for a cricket academy Sachin Tendulkar wanted to open and also pay nearly Rs 70 lakh to former IIT D faculty and now BJP functionary Subramanian Swamy as his "salary dues" between 1972 and 1991.

Shevgaonkar was opposed to both the demands, the sources said. [...]

[Source: Akshaya Mukul's report in the Times of India]

I knew about the Swamy case, and I can see why he might be angling for support from the present government led by his party. But the other issue -- involving Sachin Tendulkar -- appears totally bizarre. Especially since Tendulkar has clarified that he neither has a cricket academy nor has he any designs on IIT-D land!

Other journalists (whose work I respect) have been tweeting that Prof. Shevgaonkar has indeed resigned, and the Swamy case is certainly one of the reasons. [I would rate Mukul's reporting also as solid; so, I expect some clarification from him / ToI on their mistake about Tendulkar's involvement]

* * *

Sure enough, ToI has issued the following clarification [in a rather personal-blog-like language] at the end of the news story. Oops, indeed.

Oops. A clarification:-

IIT sources had told TOI that there was pressure on the director to give land for SachinTendulkar's cricket academy. However, Tendulkar has strongly denied that this is the case. In fact, he has said he has no plans for a cricket academy. We are sorry to have carried the news on the basis of sources which have been reliable in the past and didn't check with Tendulkar. We are sorry for this. We are also removing all mentions of this from the story.

4 Comments:

  1. ajitjadhav said...

    Abi,

    A typo (in the post and also in the title): it's Shevgaonkar---there is no `r' in between `v' and `g'.

    ... Just a coincidence that I happen to read this post within a few minutes of your posting it. [...Am still browsing through the links...]

    Would be very shocking if true.

    --Ajit
    [E&OE]

  2. Abi said...

    @Ajit: I've fixed the error. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Ankur Kulkarni said...

    Good call, Abi. The clarification on Sachin is already here:
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/education/news/IIT-Delhi-director-RK-Shevgaonkar-quits-over-demand-for-Subramanian-Swamys-dues/articleshow/45663599.cms?

  4. Abi said...

    @Ankur: Thanks for that alert. I have posted an update.