IITM muddle out in the open, dark clouds over top brass

The raid, say scientists, at least focused on a national institute “where several objectionable activities were being carried on blatantly.”

Written by Sushant Kulkarni , Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | Published:July 16, 2014 3:31 am

Over 300 scientists feeling “suffocated and humiliated” at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology have begun to breathe somewhat easy. The reason was last week’s CBI raid, long expected. The raid, say scientists, at least focused on a national institute “where several objectionable activities were being carried on blatantly.”

They allege corruption in recruitment process, construction work and procurement of costly equipment. As many as 22 sleuths of the anti-corruption wing of the CBI conducted searches at the IITM last week for nearly 16 hours and took into possession several files, documents and hard disks. The examination of hard disks revealed that exam papers for a recruitment examination of 2014, along with answers, were leaked.

The CBI raided IITM premises followed several complaints of malpractice and corruption in the recruitment process. They questioned director B N Goswami to collect information and documents. The raid was apparently conducted after inputs from some scientists. On Monday, CBI filed corruption cases against three employees, one of whom is Chhabi Bardhan. The CBI issued a lookout notice against Chhabi who remained untraced for three days.

Chhabi had retired from IITM at 60, which was the norm for government servants. Scientists allege Chhabi’s service term was extended twice in four years. Chhabi began as a steno, became personal assistant to the director and the latest position she held was of an LACD (Looking After Current Duties) manager.

“She was appointed LACD manager as the administrative officer and accounts manager were on leave for four months. She was handling projects involving crores of rupees…How can you appoint a retired person who has no knowledge of accounts and administration to such key positions?” asked a senior scientist, one of those who wrote the complaint to CBI. Bardhan was allegedly given two promotions in six months.

Scientists alleged that Bardhan called the shots — at the behest of Goswami in all IITM matters including administrative and financial. “In fact, director Goswami had once declared that he doesn’t know anything about the administration, that’s why Bardhan will look after it…,” a scientist said.

Demanding a thorough probe, scientists alleged that IITM practised favouritism in the last four years. “At least 50 scientists who are Bengalis have been recruited while scientists from Maharashtra and other parts have been ignored. There should be a thorough probe against the director as well…We were long feeling humiliated and uneasy. The CBI action is welcome, but half-hearted. CBI should probe the top brass…”

Scientists say Goswami retired from service, but was given an extension but “under which norm, nobody knows.” The CBI also filed cases against IITM transport cell in-charge Sanjay Hansale and an upper divisional clerk Amit Kumar. Ironically, Hansale is slated to get “the best performance award” from the Ministry of Earth Sciences on July 27.

Scientists allege that anybody who spoke in favour of IITM top brass got out-of-turn promotions, those who did not were given instant memos. “Scientists have been demeaned by putting them in departments which had nothing to do with qualification.. A scientist who had a Masters in Library Science is in the security department…”

A scientist said, “There is corruption at every level. We urge CBI to probe procurement of supercomputer and a costly Doppler Radar used for prediction of monsoon. CBI must inquire whether all standards were met when the equipment was procured.” Goswami’s cellphone was switched off. A Newsline team was denied permission to enter IITM premises to meet Goswami.

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  1. E
    Edu
    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:21 am
    Well done CBI
    Reply
  2. B
    Baasha Baaii
    Jul 18, 2014 at 7:50 am
    Goswami was biased in job recruitments for many years. He favored people whom, he liked irrespective of the interview committee recommendations. CBI should probe all recruitment made after he became Director.
    Reply
  3. M
    Mullikarjuna
    Jul 16, 2014 at 10:13 am
    Chi star at top please and check computer radar acqusitions
    Reply
  4. C
    CommonMan
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:31 pm
    In reply to the comment of "Sh. Pranab Mukherjee" :There is another side to the story. Mr. Goswami was not biased, but was intolerant towards incompetency and corruption in the system. This is evident from several acclamations IITM has received in last few years. IITM was a dying insute when Mr. Goswami took charge as Director of the Insute eight years back. It is due to this person’s relentless efforts the insute has revamped and has become a world renowned research insute in its field.This can be clearly comprehended by anybody by a simple Before-After analysis of the Insute’s performance. This Insute has even attracted several Indian talents working in other countries to come back to India and research in this insute for betterment of the country. IT IS INEVITABLE THAT WHILE DISCHARGING HIS STRICT AND IMPARTIAL DUTY TOWARDS BETTERMENTOF THE INSUTE, HE HAD OFFENDED MANY.Mr. Goswami is a world renowned scientist. Before coming back to India, he was ociated with prestigious insutions like NASA, MIT, Princeton University etc. It was in mid 80s he decided to come back to India to serve the motherland. He could have easily sta back in the US and could have earned astounding fame and money by serving there. It is our fortune that he chose to serve India. It is you, the citizen of Indiato decide what treatment this person should get for his daring for fighting inefficiency, incompetency and corruption in the system.Mr. Goswami had dared to bring a zero tolerance policy towards incompetency and corruption in to the system. This is a very rare, but an essential trait we expect from each and every official serving for the country so that every penny that we pay in the form of Taxes is well spent for betterment of the country. Unfortunately the reality is different. It is our weak governance and judicial system that has created moreprotective layers around the guilty, and no protection for the honest officers. It is my humble request to each and every one of you to actively partite, to gather unbiased information about the incidence and come forward. It is not about this one man, but the system that needs a change.
    Reply
  5. C
    CommonMan
    Aug 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm
    In reply to the comment of"Sh. Pranab Mukherjee" :There is another side to the story. Mr.Goswami was not biased, but was intolerant towards incompetency andcorruption in the system. This is evident from several acclamations IITM hasreceived in last few years. IITM was a dying insute when Mr.Goswami took charge as Director of the Insute eight years back. It is due tothis person’s relentless efforts the insute has revamped and hasbecome a world renowned research insute in its field.This can be clearlycomprehended by anybody by a simple Before-After analysis of theInsute’s performance. This Insute has even attractedseveral Indian talents working in other countries to come back toIndia and research in this insute for betterment of the country.IT IS INEVITABLE THAT WHILE DISCHARGING HIS STRICT AND IMPARTIAL DUTYTOWARDS BETTERMENTOF THE INSUTE, HE HAD OFFENDED MANY.Mr. Goswami is a world renowned scientist.Before coming back to India, he was ociated with prestigiousinsutions like NASA, MIT, Princeton University etc. It was in mid 80she decided to come back to India to serve the motherland. He could have easilysta back in the US and could have earned astounding fame and moneyby serving there. It is our fortune that he chose to serve India. It is you,the citizen of Indiato decide what treatment this person should getfor his daring for fighting inefficiency, incompetency and corruptionin the system.Mr. Goswami had dared to bring a zerotolerance policy towards incompetency and corruption in to the system.This is a very rare, but an essential trait we expect from each and everyofficial serving for the country so that every penny that we pay inthe form of Taxes is well spent for betterment of the country. Unfortunatelythe reality is different. It is our weak governance and judicial systemthat has created moreprotective layers around the guilty, and noprotection for the honest officers. It is my humble request to each andevery one of you to actively partite, to gather unbiased informationabout the incidence and come forward. It is not about this one man only, but about the entire system that deters the honest to serve for the country. This system must be changed!!!
    Reply
  6. C
    CommonMan
    Oct 11, 2014 at 7:07 am
    There is another side to the story. Mr. Goswami was not biased, but was intolerant towards incompetency and corruption in the system. This is evident from several acclamations IITM has received in last few years. IITM was a dying insute when Mr. Goswami took charge as Director of the Insute eight years back. It is due to this person’s relentless efforts the insute has revamped and has become a world renowned research insute in its field.This can be clearly comprehended by anybody by a simple Before-After analysis of the Insute’s performance. This Insute has even attracted several Indian talents working in other countries to come back to India and research in this insute for betterment of the country. IT IS INEVITABLE THAT WHILE DISCHARGING HIS STRICT AND IMPARTIAL DUTY TOWARDS BETTERMENT OF THE INSUTE AND WHILE IMPLEMENTING CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN AN OLD LETHARGIC SYSTEM, HE HAD OFFENDED MANY.Mr. Goswami is a world renowned scientist. Before coming back to India, he was ociated with prestigious insutions like NASA, MIT, Princeton University etc. It was in mid 80s he decided to come back to India to serve the motherland. He could have easily sta back in the US and could have earned astounding fame and money by serving there. It is our fortune that he chose to serve India. It is you, the citizen of India to decide what treatment this person should get for his daring for fighting inefficiency, incompetency and corruption in the system.Mr. Goswami had dared to bring a zero tolerance policy towards incompetency and corruption in to the system. This is a very rare, but an essential trait we expect from each and every official serving for the country so that every penny that we pay in the form of Taxes is well spent for betterment of the country. Unfortunately the reality is different. It is our weak governance and judicial system that has created more protective layers around the guilty, and no protection for the honest officers. It is my humble request to each and every one of you to actively partite, to gather unbiased information about the incidence and come forward. It is not about this one man, but the system that needs a change.
    Reply
  7. C
    CommonMan
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    There is another side to the story. Mr. Goswami was not biased, but was intolerant towards incompetency and corruption in the system. This is evident from several acclamations IITM has received in last few years. IITM was a dying insute when Mr. Goswami took charge as Director of the Insute eight years back. It is due to this person’s relentless efforts the insute has revamped and has become a world renowned research insute in its field.This can be clearly comprehended by anybody by a simple Before-After analysis of the Insute’s performance. This Insute has even attracted several Indian talents working in other countries to come back to India and research in this insute for betterment of the country. IT IS INEVITABLE THAT WHILE DISCHARGING HIS STRICT AND IMPARTIAL DUTY TOWARDS BETTERMENTOF THE INSUTE, HE HAD OFFENDED MANY.Mr. Goswami is a world renowned scientist. Before coming back to India, he was ociated with prestigious insutions like NASA, MIT, Princeton University etc. It was in mid 80s he decided to come back to India to serve the motherland. He could have easily sta back in the US and could have earned astounding fame and money by serving there. It is our fortune that he chose to serve India. It is you, the citizen of Indiato decide what treatment this person should get for his daring for fighting inefficiency, incompetency and corruption in the system.Mr. Goswami had dared to bring a zero tolerance policy towards incompetency and corruption in to the system. This is a very rare, but an essential trait we expect from each and every official serving for the country so that every penny that we pay in the form of Taxes is well spent for betterment of the country. Unfortunately the reality is different. It is our weak governance and judicial system that has created moreprotective layers around the guilty, and no protection for the honest officers. It is my humble request to each and every one of you to actively partite, to gather unbiased information about the incidence and come forward. It is not about this one man, but the system that needs a change.
    Reply
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