The Central government has suspended KS James, the director of the International Institute for Population Sciences, citing an irregularity in his recruitment, The Wire reported on Friday.

The International Institute for Population Sciences works under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It conducts important studies like the National Family Health Survey, the Assessment of National Rural Health Mission and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey.

The suspension order came after the government had asked James to resign, expressing its reservations about certain data sets that emerged in surveys conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences, an official at the Department of Public Health and Mortality Studies of the institution, told The Wire.

James was served the suspension order on Friday evening after he refused to resign from the post, the official said. The health ministry has not responded to The Wire’s request for comment on the matter.

The Wire reported that some of the findings of the National Family Health Survey-5 were at odds with claims made by the Narendra Modi government. The survey has punched holes in the prime minister’s claims of the country being open defecation free.

The survey also painted a poor picture of the government’s flagship Ujjwala scheme for cooking gas cylinders, as it showed that 40% of Indian households did not have access to clean fuels, The Wire reported.

Other findings of the survey include stunted growth among Indians and an alarming child mortality rate in Uttar Pradesh.

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