Erol D'Souza, director of IIM Ahmedabad, has pushed back after Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy objected to a PhD thesis and the government requested a copy.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) had asked IIM Ahmedabad for a copy of the thesis in April 2020, after Swamy alleged that the thesis said the BJP is "a pro-Hindu upper caste party".
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Swamy alleged the thesis said the BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party were "ethnically constituted" parties, The Indian Express reported.
In response to the MoE's request, D'Souza stated that the Ministry is not an arbiter of complaints regarding a thesis, the report said.
The Thesis Advisory and Examination Committee of the IIM-A had read the thesis, and parts of it were presented to an academic community at the viva, D'Souza said. Any complaints should have been raised at forums.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.
In the letter, Swamy had asked the government to put the PhD on hold, and urged the government to ask IIM-A to "re-examine" the thesis, The Indian Express reported.
In the letter, Swamy said PM Modi was not an upper-caste leader and such portrayals were "propagated" by British historians to show India was never "one country" and the society was not united.
The dissertation by independent professors, which contained three essays on electoral democracy, was approved for the award of PhD degree at a seminar chaired by D'Souza in March 2020, the report said.
D'Souza was sent another "reminder" regarding the ministry's request to which his response has not been received, sources told the paper.
D'Souza declined to comment when contacted by The Indian Express.
The government had cited D'Souza declining to share the thesis as a reason to seeking authority to initiate an inquiry against the Board of Governors (BoG) of an IIM, the report said.
The Law Ministry has rejected the proposal, with the view that the IIM Act gives unprecedented autonomy to the business schools.