Updated: November 21, 2017 3:32:02 am
The HRD Ministry is learnt to have moved a proposal seeking to dismiss the vice-chancellor (V-C) of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal (HNBG) University for alleged administrative irregularities, the first instance of the NDA-II government going after its own appointee in a central varsity.
Jawahar Lal Kaul was made the university head in November 2014, when Smriti Irani was the HRD Minister. The proposal to sack Kaul was received by the President’s office over a week ago and has been justified by the government on the two counts. First, he allegedly allowed affiliated colleges to increase their intake in some courses to 200 seats, even though university rules only permit 60 seats in each programme and 80 in exceptional cases.
Second, he took a decision to charge college affiliation fee lower than the prescribed amount. Kaul did not respond to calls and an SMS by The Indian Express. He was served a showcasue notice in February this year based on conclusions of a two-member fact-finding committee set up to probe complaints from Central Vigilance Commission last year, alleging administrative mismanagement.
Kaul was given three weeks to present his defence regarding five allegations, including the charge of approving backdated affiliation to a few teacher training institutes. The notice also accused him of allowing the university
to declare examination results of some private institutes when the status of their affiliation to the university was under the scanner.
The Central Universities Act of 2009, which covers 16 central universities set up by the UPA government, empowers HRD Ministry to fire V-Cs on grounds of incapacity, misconduct or violation of statutory provisions. HNBG University is covered under this law and the showcause notice was issued under Section 2(5) of the Act.
Sources said Kaul’s defence against the allegation of allowing colleges to increase seats more than the permitted limit and undercharging affiliation fee were found unsatisfactory by the ministry and, hence, shown as grounds for sacking.
HNBG university was established in December 1973 and has three campuses and more than 180 affiliated colleges and institutes. Kaul was V-C of Ujjain-based Vikram University when Kashmir was devastated by floods in September 2014. During his term there, he was manhandled by members of Bajrang Dal and VHP when he issued an appeal to help organise relief for the flood victims.
Kaul is the eighth central university V-C to come under the NDA government’s scanner since it came to power. Under Irani, the ministry fired heads of Visva-Bharati University and Pondicherry University. Inquiries were initiated against the IGNOU V-C, former head of Delhi University and the Jamia Millia Islamia V-C.
Her successor Javadekar moved the proposal for visitorial inquiry against Allahabad Central University and Aligarh Muslim University.
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