The officiating director of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) K K Bhutani has finally been ordered to retire. He, along with three other senior faculty members, have been retired by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers with immediate effect.
A communication has been sent to NIPER regarding the retirement of Dr K K Bhutani; Dr A K Chakraborti, dean and head of department of medicinal chemistry; Prof K P Kartha, a professor in the department of medicinal chemistry and Prof P P Singh, department of pharmacology and toxicology.
All the four faculty members continued to serve in the institute despite exceeding their retirement age of 60 years. Dr Bhutani joined NIPER on September 1, 1994 and was to retire in 2011, while Dr Kartha joined the institute on February 10, 2003 and was to superannuate in 2012. Similarly, Prof P P Singh and Dr Chakraborti were to retire in 2014.
Confirming the development, NIPER Registrar Wing Commander PJP Waraich (Rtd) told Chandigarh Newsline that they had received a communication from the ministry regarding the retirement of four faculty members.
“We are processing it, we received the communication this week, “ added Wraich.
Dr Bhutani who become the officiating director of the institute in 2010 remained in news for the wrong reasons. He faced allegations of mismanagement and corruption by faculty members who were dismissed from the institute.
A case was registered by CBI against Bhutani and Dr Rama Rao, former NIPER director and four others for irregularities in the purchase of a software ‘SciFinder’. It was a research discovery application that provides access to the world’s most comprehensive source of references, reactions and substances in chemistry and related sciences. CBI carried out raids at 22 places in Punjab, Maharashtra and Delhi. From the raids conducted at NIPER and houses of the accused, the CBI team found fixed deposits worth around Rs 13 lakh; bank balance of Rs 25 lakh; documents of properties worth Rs 50 lakh recovered from the residence of Bhutani; and documents relating to five properties worth Rs 1.5 crore recovered from the residence of Waraich.
Hit by controversies
In recent years, NIPER has been hit by controversies. In 2013, students staged a protest against the management. The students demanded the sacking of the director and registrar. The students also resorted to violence and set ablaze a number of official vehicles on the institute’s campus. Later, the strike ended without any consensus on the matter. A doctor at NIPER had even moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the appointment of Waraich as the institute’s registrar.