“The attitude and approach of the university administration, as well as, committee members appear adverse towards the whistleblower, as they are trying to prove that since whistleblower failed to provide evidence, his claims are baseless”
Instead of acting on the alleged irregularities in appointments/promotions/re-designation/increments and biased administrative and academic scenario in Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU), the authorities are ‘relentlessly’ hounding the whistleblower, apparently to save the skin of people exposed.
According to the highly placed sources in the SMVDU, the whistleblower, who happens to be a senior faculty member, has been harassed and pestered.
“The university administration has cancelled the casual leave of the whistleblower and denied him medical leave. His salary has been deducted and he has been forced to work under his juniors,” said sources, adding that this is the technique adopted by the varsity administration to rip the whistleblower.
Sources said that the matter was initially brought into the notice of the Vice Chancellor of the University, but he did not take any action, owing to the strong political clout of the people, who have been exposed.
“When the Vice Chancellor did not pay any heed to the representation, which talked about various irregularities, the whistleblower wrote to the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, expecting some reformative action from the Raj Bhawan, which although constituted an enquiry committee,” said sources, adding that but instead of acting on the complaints, the administration started hounding the whistleblower.
As a punishment to speak against the irregularities committed in the university, the whistleblower was removed from the headship, despite the fact that he was the only eligible candidate for the headship as per University and Council statutes.
Giving details of the representation (copy available with The Typewriter), sources quoting the whistleblower said, “When I observed working of some faculty and staff members, I was surprised to note the unethical conduct, which led me to explore further about academic credentials and past career of these employees. I came to know that there were irregularities in initial appointments/promotions of faculty members and non teaching staff, including Sunil Wanchhoo, Ajay Kaul, Sumeet Gupta, Shashi Bhushan Kotwal, Anang Kumar Das, Tripti Saitu Gupta and may be many more there in the list,” adding, “Some of the SMVDU faculty and staff members have got undue increments may be more than one in a year in the past.”
It reads, “Present Dean Academic Affairs-Sumeet Gupta had invalid degree. Despite having more than 10 years of teaching experience, he could secure only 45.5 % marks in the AICTE deemed to be university examinations, which were held on the courts intervention to validate his invalid master degree.”
Sources said that the whistleblower had sought critical examination of documents of appointments/promotion/increment of some of the faculty and staff members for allegedly having no academic and research credentials, besides producing fake/manipulated work experience during initial appointments.
Whistleblower stated that statutory provisions are not adhered for executive council meetings. “Two heads by rotation on seniority basis should be members of EC, but not even informed/called for 31st EC meeting,” reads representation, adding that assistant professors are appointed as associate dean and members of executive council, thus ignoring Associate Professors and Professors available with University.
“Rotational policy was implemented in the recent past, but dean of students, Yugal Khajooria and dean academics, Sumeet Gupta have not been touched since past six years,” said sources, alleging that under political patronage and an apparent case of nepotism and corruption, the University promoted many faculty members of a particular group without reviewing their academic and research credentials.
The representation submitted with Lieutenant Governor reads, “Photocopier machines in schools (costing Rs 1.25 lac) were denied by the purchase wing, due to lack of funds, whereas millions of rupees were spent on food bills and decoration during events,” adding, “Funds released in favour of Sachin Gupta and Vinay Kumar Sharma during past few years for organizing events requires a comprehensive probe.”
It asserted that in the recent instance, charge of the Registrar SMVDU was given to a person, who is still on probation and stands below other professors. “Rules are frequently changed by SMVDU admin to suit the requirements of blue-eyed candidates, but hardly declared and published in a transparent manner,” reads a copy of the representation.
Sources maintained that the content of the representation reads, “Some of the faculty members award high marks without substantive work produced by the students. Many non-teaching employees have been promoted to the position of Assistant Registrar, compromising merit and eligibility.”
The representation further raises questions over the integrity of the University administration in managing its affairs.
“Why a faculty member is given the charge of Registrar, ignoring senior professors. Why University is hell bent to save misdeeds of some mischievous elements. Why varsity management could not establish a system of admissions, registration and appraisal even after 15-years of its establishment,” questions the whistleblower, adding that why ERP system established a few years ago was stopped mid-way.
Sources claimed that due to irregular pay grading, some segments of faculty are enjoying higher salaries, whereas non teaching staff have to contend with ‘pea-nuts’.
“In 2012, a resolution was taken wherein it was decided that the pay scale of non teaching staff should be according to the state government grades,” said sources.
If sources are to be believed, the enquiry committee probing the allegations had asked whistleblower to prove his position and in response to communication by enquiry committee, the whistleblower clarified that he had disclosed the information based on his experience in dealing with the people on campus.
“He did not accuse anyone, but put his observations before the competent authority so that proper scrutiny may be done. The whistleblower had sought a comprehensive probe to unearth various instances of active and passive corruption/fraudulent activities,” said sources, adding that now seeking proof from the whistleblower sounds paradoxical.
The attitude and approach of the university administration, as well as, committee members appear adverse towards the whistleblower, as they are trying to prove that since the whistleblower failed to provide evidence, his claims are baseless.
When tried to contact the Whistleblower, he was unavailable for comments despite repeated attempts.
Talking to The Typewriter, the Registrar of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University-Dr Eswarmoothy said that he has no knowledge about the matter, as any probe initiated from the office of Lieutenant Governor has to be processed from the office of the Vice Chancellor.
When contacted Private Secretary of the Vice Chancellor SMVDU, Vinod Sharma said that the probe has been initiated by the Lieutenant Governor, so they do not know anything about its status.
“This is a high level enquiry, so involvement of University is negligible. The committee has been constituted by the Lieutenant Governor and university authorities have no knowledge about any development in this regard,” said Vinod, adding that they cannot comment anything about the allegations, as they haven’t seen it.
When asked about hounding of the Whistleblower, Vinod tried to dodge the query and said that identity of whistleblower is anonymous under whistleblower act.
“How come university harass anyone, whose identity is not disclosed,” said Private Secretary of the Vice Chancellor, SMVDU.
However, it is important to mention that the same representation was earlier submitted with the Vice Chancellor, so any claim of not knowing the whistleblower is nothing more than a lame excuse.