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Monday, November 30, 2020

Suspended, Jamia Hamdard V-C seeks UGC intervention

In an order dated November 10, UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said Hasnain was asked to respond to the allegations, which he did, and that a five-member FFC was being set up.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | November 14, 2020 2:08:17 am
Jamia Millia Islamia. Express photo

The Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain, has been suspended by the Chancellor following the decision of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to set up a Fact Finding Committee (FFC) to probe allegations of administrative and financial irregularities. However, Hasnain wrote a letter to the UGC Chairman on Thursday, saying, “…UGC may kindly issue an order clarifying that the letter issued by Mr Hamid Ahmad purporting to be the suspension order of the undersigned and the appointment order of Prof M A Jafri as Vice-Chancellor is in violation of UGC Regulations…”

The university’s sponsoring body, Hamdard National Foundation (HNF), had written to the UGC on August 12 enlisting 29 alleged irregularities including taking unapproved loans resulting in incurred debt of Rs 14 crore, excess expenditure resulting in a deficit of more than Rs 45 crore, tampering with minutes of meetings of statutory bodies and appointing faculty without advertising for posts.
In an order dated November 10, UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said Hasnain was asked to respond to the allegations, which he did, and that a five-member FFC was being set up.

On November 12, Chancellor Hamid Ahmed in an order said that “several files pertaining to administrative and financial matters have been taken away by Prof Hasnain from the office of the Registrar into his possession”. “In view of the above, I… am pleased to place Prof Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain…under suspension, till further orders… as he may influence/ coerce the witnesses and tamper with material records,” he wrote.

Hasnain denied the allegations. “There is nothing with me, everything is in the office. UGC has set up a fact finding committee, not an inquiry committee, also because we have been informing them of irregularities by HNF. The Chancellor’s appointment itself is suspect as it was not as per rules. Even so, the Chancellor has no power to suspend till UGC makes a recommendation,” he said.

The Committee has to submit its report within three weeks of the issue of the order and not in accordance with law and may be ignored by all with immediate effect, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, of Central University of Gujarat V-C Rama Shanker Dubey, former V-C of Bundelkhand University Avinash C Pandey, Former Joint Secretary MHRD R D Sahay, Professor Mohammad Shabir from AMU and UGC Joint Secretary A K Khanduri, of taking files from the Registrar’s office.

It has been told to “look into the allegations of financial and administrative irregularities against the V-C, examine para-wise response by the V-C” and also examine whether UGC regulations are followed in the constitution of statutory bodies and appointment of authorities.

The FFC will also see whether courses are offered with approval of statutory bodies, and annual reports are published and audits are conducted in accordance with UGC regulations.

Ahmed added that the VC “shall not attend office during the period of suspension, other than for disciplinary hearing”. He said since Pro Vice-Chancellor was away on leave and “also implicated in the allegations, he is not given charge of the office of the V-C”, instead senior most Professor Mustahsan Ali Jafri was made Officiating V-C.

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