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Controversy over appointment of Chetan Chauhan as NIFT chief

NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 29: Delhi and District Cricket Association Vice President Chetan Chauhan after the DDCA's annual general meeting at Ferozeshah Kotla Ground in New Delhi on Tuesday, December 29, 2009. (Photo by Parveen Negi/India Today Group/Getty Images)

A controversy erupted today over appointment of ex-cricketer and former BJP MP Chetan Chauhan as the Chairman of prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology, with political parties and fashion designers questioning the decision of the government.

“I have been appointed (as the NIFT Chairman) by the Government of India and I will work to the best of my ability,” said Chauhan, who is also the vice president ofDelhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

As per the NIFT Act 2006, the Chairperson of its Board of Governors shall be an eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, who is to be nominated by the Visitor, in this case the President of India.

Set up in 1986, the institute which has centres across the country comes under the Union Ministry of Textiles.

Ridiculing the decision, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, “the government wants to convert the National Institute of Fashion Technology into National Institute of Cricket Technology.”

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal questioned the appointment of Chauhan, accusing the Narendra Modi government of assembling an army of ‘sycophants’ in prestigious institutions.