What is IIT Delhi v/s Subramanian Swamy feud?


10 Apr 2018

IIT-Delhi v/s Swamy: Modi government steps in to resolve dispute

A 45-yr old dispute between IIT-Delhi and its former faculty member BJP MP Subramanian Swamy may finally be resolved, thanks to Modi government's intervention.

Swamy claims that the institute owes him close to Rs. 70L in arrears.

Now, after the Centre's intervention last week, the two might be headed for an out of court settlement.

How has the case proceeded? Here's all about it.


What was the dispute about?

What was the dispute about?

Swamy joined IIT-Delhi as a faculty in 1971. However, they sacked him claiming that his appointment was illegal.

He took them to court and won the case in 1991. He re-joined the institute but resigned the same day and demanded his salary/allowances for 1972-1991.

IIT-Delhi agreed but cited Union Government's Fundamental Rule 54, demanding details of his earnings from Harvard University, where he taught during that period.


What was the UPA government's stance?

So under FR 54, IIT-Delhi claimed they would have to pay only the difference between Swamy's dues and his earnings from Harvard University.

However, Swami refuted these claims saying he was on Extraordinary Leave (EOL) and thus shouldn't be expected to disclose his earnings.

IIT-Delhi's position, meanwhile, was upheld by UPA-2's HRD Ministry headed by Kapil Sibal in 2010.

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Now, what is the current government's position?

Now, what is the current government's position?

After NDA came to power, it re-visited the matter. In 2014, Smriti Irani wrote to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to inquire whether Swamy's case falls under FR 54. Subsequently, DoPT clarified that IIT isn't bound by government's rules.

The matter will now be discussed at the next meeting of the Institute's Board of Governors (BoG), the highest decision-making body.

So, will Swamy receive his Rs. 70L?

The ministry's latest letter asking IIT-Delhi to clarify its position carries more weight since it was issued with the approval of the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar, also the IIT Council chairman. So, in all likelihood, IIT-Delhi might have to cough up Rs. 70L for Swamy.

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NDA Government

Prakash Javadekar

Smriti Irani

Subramanian Swamy

UPA Government

's Board of Governors


BJP MP Subramanian Swamy


Department of Personnel



Extraordinary Leave

FR 54

Fundamental Rule 54

Harvard University

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar

HRD Ministry

IIT Council


Kapil Sibal


Union Government

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