The chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research, Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, has stepped down just 16 months into his tenure. The reason for his resignation is still unclear. The Indian Express reported that government sources attributed the resignation to his unhappiness over being denied an honorarium of Rs 1.5 lakh per month. Rao confirmed that he had quit, but said the the reason behind it was unrelated to the honorarium. The resignation has neither been accepted nor rejected by the government as of now.

Rao was appointed as ICHR chief for a term of three years in July 2014, in a controversial move that drew the ire of famous historians such as Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib, who questioned his academic credentials. He is a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s history wing, and former head of the Department of History and Tourism Management at Kakatiya University.