In an apparent setback for former Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected her choice for the chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Narendra Modi, rejected the name of Dr Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh as the next CBSE chief, recommended by Irani.
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Apparently, the ACC also took the entire process out of the HRD Ministry’s realm.
The ACC has directed the HRD Ministry to complete the selection process within two months and submit its proposal to the ACC for consideration before October 31. The move comes days after she lost the Human Resource and Development Ministry – a clear signal by PM Modi that down the line, that no one is above scrutiny or indispensable.
Smriti Irani’s two-year tenure as the Union HRD Minister has been marked by several controversies.
Irani faced flak over the controversy over alleged seditious activities on the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University. Irani’s educational qualifications came under the scanner immediately after she took charge of the HRD Ministry. She was also involved in German-Sanskrit row and faced the outrage of public and the opposition over the suicide of Rohit Vemula, a Hyderabad University scholar.
The post of CBSE chairman has been vacant since December 2014. While Irani’s first choice was Dr Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh, other candidates were Kamalkanta Biswal (Professor, UEPA) and Khurram Shahzad Noor (Addl principal Director of educational wing of the Indian Navy).
This is second time when the ACC rejected the Irani’s choice of CBSE chief. In August 2015, the ACC rejected her pick of Satbir Bedi citing that she did not fulfil the basic qualification of having been education administrator for three years.