After the recent CBI raid at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, all eyes are likely to be on IITM director B N Goswami and Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) during the seminar on climate at IITM that begins on Wednesday.
Scientists who complain that the atmosphere at IITM has been “vitiated” after the CBI anti-corruption wing raid are likely to seek an audience with Nayak to urge him to put things in order.
IITM is organising a national seminar in Hindi on “Climate change and monsoon variability, prediction and climate services: a scientific approach,” at their Pashan campus on July 30-31. Scientists from across the country will be part of the gathering to discuss issues in Hindi. The two-day seminar is “an effort to promote scientific work and deliberations in Hindi.”
Nayak will be the chief guest while Neeta Choudhary, Secretary, Department of Official Language, Ministry of Home Affairs, will be the guest of honour. The two-day seminar will deal with topics related to climate change.
After the CBI raid, IITM top brass maintained silence. Goswami remained out of bounds for the media. Nayak refused to promise anything about an immediate clean-up as demanded by scientists. He merely said once the CBI submits its report, they will initiate action. “Let CBI submit its report, we will act after that…” he had told The Indian Express recently.
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Scientists wonder whether Nayak is serious about restoring IITM to its past glory. “If Nayak holds a closed-door meeting, we will reveal what has been going on at IITM for the past few years which has affected quality of research,” said a scientist, whose view was echoed by others.
Among their complaints are that civil and mechanical engineers have been given training in atmospheric science. Technicians have been made scientists, a draughtsman has become a scientist and in the latest, a scientist is to head the accounts department. “Besides, non-Maharashtrians have been given preference in recruitment,” allege scientists seeking a probe. Goswami is to retire on July 31.
The CBI filed cases against three employees, including Chhabi Bardhan. The cases relate to corruption in recruitment. She allegedly functioned at the behest of IITM top brass. Bardhan has been on the run. Her anticipatory bail was rejected by the High Court.
(With inputs from NISHA NAMBIAR)