Officials in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers are all set to investigate how the senior faculty members of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) continued their services even after their retirement. The ministry will also look into the circumstances because of which the Board of Governor (BoG) was not constituted for the last two-and-a-half years.
According to highly placed sources, in the absence of the BoG, the power was centralised in some people only and they could misuse it. According to the NIPER Act, the institutes could only be governed by the BoG which also include some elected representatives.
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NIPER at Mohali had the BoG till July 2014 but after that, no BoG was constituted by the ministry, said a source who was one of the members of the previous BoG. The source added that principally, the BoG is the administrative arm of all the seven NIPERs in the country but no NIPER has the BoG.
The President appoints members of the NIPER on the recommendations of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. The local management also sent the names of the people to the ministry for the BoG but from Mohali no effort was made in the last two-and-a-half-year, said the source.
Meanwhile, the extensions given to officiating director Dr K K Bhutani also came under the scanner after his retirement. As per the NIPER website, all appointments at NIPER, including that of director, were made on a contractual basis for a period of five years, subject to renewal on the basis of satisfactory progress. The contract system of appointments of NIPER staff was abolished in 2014 by notification in Gazette. Dr Bhutani’s tenure had already expired in 2013, when he had attained the age of 62 years. Dr Bhutani joined NIPER, Mohali, on fresh appointment on September 1, 1994, after taking voluntary retirement from Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Jammu.
The sources said renewal of contracts of all faculty was governed by NIPER Statutes according to which renewal was subject to assessment by a committee. In 2013 or in 2014, no committee evaluated his work or recommended his continuation.