Updated: May 22, 2020 10:03:43 am
In an unusual move, the Chancellor at the Mahatma Gandhi Central University (MGCU), Motihari, Mahesh Sharma, has approached President Ramnath Kovind requesting an inquiry against the incumbent Vice-Chancellor (V-C), Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, for allegedly violating the Central Universities Act.
A chancellor’s post at a central university is titular and the occupant has little say in the day-to-day functioning of the institution. However, Sharma is the second Chancellor, appointed by the incumbent government, who is at odds with his institution’s V-C.
Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Chancellor of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad, had, in 2018, accused the then V-C Aslam Parvaiz of corruption. Parvaiz, who had denied Ahmed’s allegations, resigned late last year and was relieved in February.
Mahesh Sharma wrote to the President on May 11, expressing “serious concern” over Sanjeev’s Sharma’s conduct. “Various provisions of the Central Universities Act and directives of MHRD are being violated continuously during the last several months. These are related to the functioning of EC (Executive Council), AC (Academic Council) and other administrative, financial and academic matters,” he wrote in his letter to Kovind. His letter does not point out any specific instances.
The Chancellor also highlighted that the HRD Ministry has received several complaints against alleged irregularities in Sanjeev Sharma’s appointment in the last one year, “but not acted appropriately”. “An explanation is required. I have waited for 6 months with the hope that some action will be initiated,” he further wrote, asking for “appropriate enquiry (sic)” and that the V-C be sent on leave pending an inquiry.
The ministry is currently looking into complaints questioning the Vigilance clearance given by Sanjeev Sharma’s parent universities for his appointment as MGCU V-C since an inquiry into his appointment as a professor during his tenure at another university is still pending. As per the Central university norms for appointment of V-C, no vigilance “examination” or probe into complaints of misconduct should be pending against a candidate for 10 years before appointment.
When contacted Thursday, Mahesh Sharma confirmed that he had written a letter to the President on May 11 and that the latter’s office has forwarded the matter to the HRD Ministry for “appropriate action”.
Sanjeev Sharma was appointed only a year ago, after his predecessor, Arvind Agrawal, resigned halfway through his term amidst allegations of falsifying his academic records. MGCU is a new central university set up by the UPA government and the incumbent V-C is only the institution’s second head.
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