Delhi University (DU) has overruled the decision of the Governing Body (GB) of Dyal Singh (Evening) College not to grant an interim extension to Principal Pawan Sharma whose term ended Sunday, as he was found guilty of heavy plagiarism by a committee. DU wrote to the GB Chairperson to “follow” the university’s directives and grant him a one-month extension.
Allegations against Sharma were levied by Academic Council member Naveen Gaur who wrote to the Vice-Chancellor repeatedly since May 23 saying Sharma had “highly plagiarised” the book ‘Training and Development’. A three-member committee set up by the GB found Sharma guilty of the charge and said he had copied texts “line by line and word by word” in many places.
The GB accepted the report in its meeting held on July 22, and had decided to advertise for the post of principal while handing over charge to the senior-most teacher once Sharma’s tended on July 26.
“After adopting the report of the subcommittee for finding facts about the allegation of plagiarism against the Principal of the Dyal Singh Evening College and forwarding the report to the Delhi University for perusal, the Governing Body resolves to advertise for the post of Principal of Dyal Singh Evening College. The Governing Body also resolves to hand over the charge, as per the rule, to a faculty member of the Dyal Singh Evening College, after Pawan Kumar Sharma completes his tenure on July 26,” the GB resolution said.
“It is also resolved to set aside an unsigned scanned letter sent to the Chairperson through Gmail for one month extension to Dr Pawan Kumar Sharma because it has several factual and legal inconsistencies,” it added.
The letter referred to was in the name of the Assistant Registrar (Colleges) dated July 21. It said, given the “emergency situation and pandemic conditions” Sharma should be given one-month extension from July 27. However, GB Chairperson Rajiv Nayan set it aside, and the decision was communicated to DU officials.
However, despite GB resolution to not grant extension, the university has sent another unsigned letter to Nayan on July 24. “This is regarding the interim extension of Dr Pawan K Sharma…As directed, you are hereby advised to follow the university directions,” it said.
While Nayan refused to comment, some GB members said it was wrong of DU to overrule the “unanimous GB decision”. “It is not only unethical and immoral, but perhaps even illegal. Someone found guilty of serious plagiarism charges should not be continuing,” one member said.
Another said, “The appointment letter can only be given by the GB. The university does not have the power.”
Sources said Nayan had neither accepted nor rejected the letter by DU, but Sharma was back to work Monday. “I went to college today as university is the deciding authority ultimately. This committee set up by GB has no standing. I have a report saying there is no plagiarism,” he said.
Dean Colleges Balaram Pani echoed the same. “The university will set up a committee and investigate. The GB chairman cannot just make up a committee like this. This is just an interim extension, not an extension of his second term. The unsigned letters are just for this peculiar COVID times,” he said.
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