“Hon’ble Chancellor has already constituted a committee to investigate the allegations and it is in its final phases”
Amid recurring complaints of alleged financial inconsistencies, favouritism in recruitment and violating the University norms, the management of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (SMVD) University, claimed that the appointment of complainant is itself questionable.
The university administration has been accused of favouritism in recruitment. Appointment of a number of employees in different cadres has been allegedly made on personal likes and dislikes. Beside those recommended by influential politicians, some close relatives of the top administrator of the university have also been recruited allegedly in violation of merit.
A letter written to the Lieutenant Governor, who happens to be the Chancellor of the varsity, speaks volumes about the alleged favouritism in appointments.
“I would like to draw your attention towards the appointment, posting and subsequent placement of Mr. Kuldeep Kumar, who joined the varsity as Junior Assistant in 2005, in gross violation of rules, which requires minimum second division in graduation, whereas Mr Kumar is third division holder,” reads the letter, adding “He being the brother-in-law of Prof VK Bhat, former Registrar of the University, he has spent most of his service in SMVDU working directly under Mr Bhat as his assistant.”
It reads that due to the alleged influence of Prof Bhat, Mr Kuldeep did not seek specific permission from the university to sit for MA (Political Science) course, which he passed in 2006 in 3rd division.
“As per rules of the University, an employee has to seek prior permission to pursue any course and also sign a service bond,” reads the content of the letter, adding “In response to an RTI, Mr Kuldeep was given two consequent promotions from GP of 1900 to 2400 and further to 4200 within a span of 15 years, whereas hundreds of non-teaching employees in the varsity, especially junior engineers are struggling for the same.”
The letter alleged that the latest promotion of Mr Kuldeep has not even been routed through any committee, rather Prof Bhat himself proposed and got it approved by invoking one clause 4 (iv) of the relevant rules.
Sources in the university alleged that the appointment and posting of Prof Bhat is also contentious, as he was appointed as lecturer in Mathematics on contract basis in January 2005 and subsequently joined the position of assistant professor in school of applied physics and mathematics.
“Point to be noted here is that the advertisement rolled out in January 2005 had no mention of any teaching position of mathematics,” said sources, adding, “He was appointed as Associate Professor with reference to advertisement rolled out in May 2007, wherein requirement was five years of teaching/industrial experience, which VK Bhat did not have.”
Sources maintained that in February 2012, Vijay Kumar Bhat was appointed as Professor in Mathematics at SMVDU, despite the fact that he had not completed five years on the position of Associate Professor.
Referring to the financial discrepancies, sources said that pay of VK Bhat was re-fixed at Rs 167200 in the higher cell No 6 of the academic level 16, with effect from 01-01-2016, allegedly adopting unfair practices.
“Crossing all limits of undue favors and misusing the office of Registrar, Mr Bhat could also succeed in fixation of his entry level pay as Associate Professor with minimum basic fixed at Rs 40890 in the pay scale of 37400-67000 with effect from 27th August 2007, whereas he had already resigned from the post in 2012,” said sources, adding that in such case all the benefits related to the position should have been ceased as soon the post was converted to the post of professor.
Talking to The Typewriter, the Registrar of the University, Prof. M. Eswaramoorthy said that he has not received any document in this regard.
When contacted Vice Chancellor of SMVDU, Ravindra Kumar Sinha said that the matter is already under investigation.
“Hon’ble Chancellor has already constituted a committee to investigate the allegations and it is in its final phases,” Vice Chancellor said and added that however, all the recruitments in the varsity are done with the consent of Executive Council.
Vice Chancellor further claimed that the appointment of complainant is itself questionable, as ‘he is not holding relevant eligibility, required to be professor”, said Ravindra Kumar Sinha, asserting that owing to such approach of the complainant, he has been removed from headship.