After Pune Newsline on Tuesday and Wednesday highlighted what scientists called “objectionable” functioning of IITM, Pashan, at least four departments got new heads. Curiously, a scientist has been asked to head the accounts and administration which has been resented by fellow scientist.
Director B N Goswami on Wednesday issued an internal note appointing four employees as in-charge of four departments which were all looked after by Chhabi Bardhan against whom the CBI has filed an offence case for malpractices and corruption in recruitment. Bardhan was apparently looking after five-six departments. If IITM sources are to be believed, she was acting “at the behest of the director who had given her sweeping powers.”
Along with Bardhan, who has remained untraced by the CBI, cases have also been filed against two other employees. Director Goswami, who is not answering phone calls since the CBI stormed the IITM premises last week and seized several incriminating documents and disks in connection with the job scam, landed up as early in the morning in the office on Wednesday.
He circulated a note appointing Nitin Mali, Y S Belgude, K K Dhani and Major Sheetal Deshmukh (retd) in-charge of different departments which were all handled by Bardhan, said IITM employees who are all feeling “relieved and happy” after the CBI raid.
In the afternoon, Goswami held a meeting of all the project heads and their assistants. The meeting happened between 4 and 5 pm, IITM sources said. Goswami was apparently in Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday for “some important work.” IITM sources said Nitin Mali has been appointed LACD (Looking After Current Duties) manager. Bardhan was holding the charge for past three to four months. He apparently has a Diploma in Industrial Management.
Y S Belgude has appointed incharge of purchase and stores department. IITM sources said K K Dhani who is a scientist (D) has been given the charge of accounts and administration department. “What experience can a scientist have of the accounts and administration department?” Questioned the other scientists. Dhani as a scientist was looking after “air observation and the IITM laboratory in Mahableshwar.
Major (retd) Sheetal Deshmukh, who joined three months back, has been asked to look after the human resources department. All the four newly appointed persons are incidentally Maharashtrians. Employees, in a written complaint to the CBI and Ministry and Earth Sciences, have complained that the top brass of the IITM had been practising favourtism, recruiting scientists from outside the state.
The employees have also alleged in their complaint that anybody who spoke against the top brass, which primarily meant the director, was denied promotion while those who spoke in favour where given out of turn promotions. “We are expecting a thorough probe by the CBI as well as the Ministry of Earth Sciences. IITM is a top weather research institute. We are all proud of working with it. But there has to be a congenial atmosphere for putting in our might…which is not happening under the present dispensation.”
Meanwhile, the CBI sources said they were going through the documents seized and would initiate further action which suggests that cases will be filed against some more employees.