By Satish Jha / Deccan Herald

Mahatma Gandhi founded-Gujarat Vidyapith, a deemed university, on Tuesday accepted the resignation of its chancellor, renowned activist and founder of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ela Bhatt and chose Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, who comes from Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background, as its next chancellor.

A team of officials from the varsity will be meeting Devvrat to apprise him of varsity’s decision to appoint him as next chancellor. Officials said that while the decision to accept Bhatt’s resignation on “health ground” was passed unanimously, the resolution to chose Devvrat to replace Bhatt was passed by majority votes. However, Bhatt will formally be relieved from the Vidyapith after its convocation on October 18, the day when Gandhi founded it in Ahmedabad in 1920.

When contacted varisty’s registrar Nikhil Bhatt told DH that a statement is being released while a senior trustee and former vice-chancellor Sudarshan Iyenger confirmed to DH about the decisions. Despite repeated attempt vice-chancellor (V-C) Rajendra Khimani didn’t respond for comments.

The development comes at a time when V-C Khimani is facing removal from the post due to his “ineligibility and ongoing inquiry into financial irregularities.” On September 21, the Gujarat high court ordered the varsity to take “appropriate” action in eight weeks on University Grants Commission’s (UGC) decision to sack Khimani for “financial irregularity”, “administrative lapses” as well as not having required eligibility for the post. No decision has been taken yet.

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