KOLKATA: Anju Seth, the first woman director of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and an alumnus of its 1978 batch, resigned from her position late on Sunday after locking horns with the institute’s board of governors for several months. Matters came to a head in end-February when the board adopted a resolution against her in a special meeting and reportedly started an inquiry into her “conduct”.
Seth’s term was to end in February 2022, when she attained the age of 65. She went on sick leave on Friday. According to sources, besides sending her resignation letter to the board of governors, Seth has also mailed a copy to the PMO.
An emergency meeting called by the board on Monday was later rescheduled to Tuesday.
In a statement to TOI, Seth wrote, “I’m disappointed as I’m leaving a dream only partially fulfilled; it is not what I had sought. Yet I’m proud that I tried my best and that I’ve disrupted the conventional barriers that were holding back the opportunity for IIM Calcutta to emerge as a world class institution. I hope that in the future, the institute will continue to build on a culture of transparency and accountability as core values.”
In her statement to TOI Seth further wrote: “I have been privileged to work with many dedicated and talented people and wish them the very best for the future. I continue to be a proud alumna of IIM Calcutta and shall always be.”
In her resignation letter, Seth has referred to the breakdown of confidence between her and the board and that the latter chose to draw up allegations of wrongdoings against her without giving her a chance to defend herself, sources in the know said. She has also pointed to the lack of transparency and accountability, misuse of funds, cases of abdication of responsibility, weak financial health and governance issues that have led to investigations by the education ministry and agencies like the CAG and CVC.
Seth, who fell out with board chairman Srikrishna Kulkarni, had reportedly written to the education ministry complaining of interference in her work that was restricting her from taking the institute forward, the sources said. The chairman took serious exception to this letter and called a special meeting in February, where a resolution was adopted against her and an inquiry started.
The board also advertised for the post of a new director 11 months before Seth’s retirement when the IIMC norm is to initiate the process 9 months before the end of the tenure of the director.