The University of Allahabad is in a “deplorable” state, a government-backed audit of the central institution has said, highlighting funds crunch, internal politics and excessive litigation as some of the reasons why the varsity is on the brink of becoming “unviable” and “unworkable”.
While Vice-Chancellor R L Hangloo is under the HRD Ministry’s scanner for alleged financial, academic and administrative irregularities, the report, however, does not hold him responsible. In fact, it observes that there is a deliberate attempt by a group of “activist retired professors” to disrupt the V-C’s work.
The audit was done by a team of six — Gautam R Desiraju of IISc in Bengaluru, Professor Soibam Ibotombi of Manipur University, Professor Pinaki Chakrabarti from the Bose Institute in Kolkata, Professor Mahadeo Jaiswal of IIM-Sambalpur, Professor Amita Singh of Jawaharlal Nehru University and retired bureaucrat K P Pandian.
The team, constituted by the University Grants Commission (UGC), at the behest of the HRD Ministry in the wake of several complaints against the university administration, visited the campus for three days, from November 13 to 15.
The audit report flagged the following “intractable” problems:
— The central university is burdened with litigation. Currently, it is fighting over 300 cases in court, which is draining the institution’s time and resources. Many of these cases are due to shoddy framing of the university’s statutes and ordinances, which leave room for a variety of interpretations.
— The varsity is plagued by lack of funds, especially non-plan funds which are mainly used to pay wages and salaries to employees on campus.
— There’s no vision or future roadmap for the institution.
— The audit report points out poor management in the university registrar’s office and finance office.
— All problems and issues on university campus are seen as a law and order problem and dealt with accordingly. There should be no place for such an outlook in an academic institution.
— There is a deliberate effort by a group of retired professors to slow down the work of the V-C. Apart from Allahabad University, 10 other central universities — Aligarh Muslim University, Garhwal University, Central University of Jammu, Central University of Jharkhand, Pondicherry University, Central University of Rajasthan, Tripura University, Dr Hari Singh Gaur Vishwavidyalaya in Madhya Pradesh, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwa Vidyalaya in Maharashtra and Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow — also had their academic, financial and administrative affairs audited by the government.