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Saturday, 12 July 2014

MHRD Enquiry in Irregularities of VC Pondy Varsity - SFI, DYFI...!

                     Students’ Federation of India    
Puducherry State Committee
Date: 10-06-2014
The Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development
Shastri Bhawan,
 New Delhi – 110 001

Respected Madam-ji,

Greetings from the students of Puducherry!

Sub:  25% reservation for Puducherry students in admissions in all courses in Pondicherry University – Enquiry into various irregularities and illegalities committed by the Vice Chancellor – Immediate intervention of Hon’ble Minister – Requested – Reg.

On behalf of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), we wish to bring the following to your kind attention for necessary action in public interest.

When the Pondicherry Central University was started in the year 1985 there was a lot of expectation among the people of the Union Territory that their wards would greatly benefit in education and employment as a result of the establishment of the university. It was assured by the then authorities of the university that jobs would be provided to the family of the agriculturists who handed over their land for setting up the university. It was also assured that 25% reservation would be provided for the Pondicherry students in all the courses offered in the university. But despite continuous demand from all quarters to implement the assurance, the University has not fulfilled its promise so far. This has badly affected the educational and employment opportunities of the students of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The regional reservation of 25% provided for a few courses at the time of inception alone is being continued. After repeated representations the university constituted a committee to look into the issue which recommended extension of 25% reservation in all courses. Though the recommendation of the committee was taken up for approval by the university in the Academic Council in May 2013, it was not cleared. It was resolved to constitute another committee by the Vice-Chancellor only with the view to put off the issue.  Till date a decision has not been taken in the matter despite the Vice-Chancellor promising that she would give 25% reservation in all the courses offered in the university. As a result, Puducherry students have been denied reservation for two consecutive academic years (2013-14 & 2014-15) after promising the same. There is a huge sense of resentment among the citizens over the way the university authorities have handled and publicized this sensitive issue. The students feel cheated and are restive.  It may be said in this connection that Central Government institutions like JIPMER are offering 30% regional reservation in the UG and PG courses.  The reservation has also been extended for the newly started B.Pharm and Nursing courses.  So also in the newly started NIT in Karaikal, reservation for Puducherry students is available.  When various Central Government institutions are providing regional reservations, it is not proper for the Pondicherry Central University to deny the reservation in its programmes after having promised the same.

After the present Vice-Chancellor took over in February 2013, the academic atmosphere in the university has worsened and the standards have gone down considerably. No new innovative programme has been started in the university. In a rash action 4 L.L.M. courses were withdrawn by the university from the affiliated colleges for 2013-14 on the ground that a School of Law is being set up for starting L.L.M. courses. The unjust decision was withdrawn after a strong protest and agitation by the Law College students.
The Vice-Chancellor made conflicting statements in the press which showed the university in poor light. The various controversial actions of the Vice-Chancellor that have tarnished the image of the university coupled with lowering in standards and steep hike in fees have created a situation leading to a sharp fall in the number of applications for admissions to various academic programmes in the university for the academic year 2014-15. Various irregularities have been reported in conducting the online exam for admission which needs to be probed. The rural students and those from villages were handicapped by the way the exam was conducted and deprived of fair opportunities to attend and appear in the entrance examinations.  Improprieties were committed in choosing the agency for the online examinations and the confidentiality of the exam conducted is questionable.

The University last year unjustly suspended two girl students who had filed a complaint against the sexual harassment they had to face from a senior male student for the entire second semester of their course. The unjust action of punishing the victims and letting go the perpetrators of the crime evoked strong protests from the student community against the cruel victimization of the victims by the Vice-Chancellor. The sexual harassment of two female students was handled with total insensitively by the Vice-Chancellor despite frequently posing and pretending as mother for the entire student community. The humiliated students went to the High Court of Madras for relief and justice but lakhs were spent by the Vice-Chancellor to subject them to great suffering and hardship. Even as of now the suspension of these girl students has not been revoked and they have not been able to appear for the second semester examination. No enquiry has been conducted by the sexual harassment committee so far and the victims are suffering to this day.

Dr. S. Hariharan is facing a CBI case for irregularities in giving approval to a private Engineering College. Despite request from CBI and  MHRD and CVC, the Vice-Chancellor is protecting Hariharan from CBI case and all other violations.  More unfortunately, the Vice Chancellor has placed affiliation responsibility of about 100 colleges affiliated to the University in the hands of Dr Hariharan.  Dr. Hariharan was openly interfering in the affairs of the affiliated colleges and threatening the Principles by using his position as Dean of the Affiliated Colleges.  Several procedural irregularities have been committed by Dr S Hariharan along with the Vice Chancellor in affiliation matters for personal interest and monetary gain.

Prof. Chandra Krishnamurthy has made several appointments in the University arbitrarily without following rules and regulations of the University.  She has appointed Mr. Ramabathiran, a retired District Judge as the Legal Consultant in October 2013 for a period of two years without following the Government of India orders or any procedure in the matter.  He is being paid heavily at the rate of Rs.1,25,000/- per month and in the month of December 2013, he was paid an amount of Rs.1,55,500/- while other consultants such as Electrical Wing and Civil wing are being paid a consolidated amount of Rs.25,000/- per month.  The post of Legal Consultant has not been created in the University.  There is a full-fledged Legal Wing functioning in the University.  In order to favour Mr. Ramabathiran, he has been engaged as Legal Consultant without following procedures prescribed by the Government of India and CVC guidelines for engagement of Consultants.

The Vice-Chancellor has so far not taken any action to punish the Director of Academic Staff College & Dean affiliated colleges Dr. S. Hariharan who assaulted, tortured and illegally kept in confinement for 2 days a poor and downtrodden PG student of Tamil department by alleging that he peeped into the ladies hostel and forcing him to admit it. The student’s innocence was proved without any doubt by a committee constituted by the committee. The committee after a detailed probe which included CCTV evidence found that the accusation against the student was false. Instead of suspending Hariharan and  Bhushan Sudhagar (a faculty member who was appointed  as Security in charge for the university after driving away a honest and sincere Superintendent of Police who was discharging the responsibility on deputation from the Government of Puducherry) and two other security staff, all  involved in the brutal treatment and Human Rights violation meted out to the innocent student, on the advice and instruction of the Vice-Chancellor, all efforts were taken by the Vice-Chancellor (also named in the FIR filed by the wounded student) to protect the Guilty particularly Hariharan who is the confidante and point person of the Vice-Chancellor in all illegal and irregular actions in the university. Vice-Chancellor constituted a second committee to get over the finding of the first committee to buy time to avoid action against Hariharan. The affected student has written to the National Human Rights Commission for justice. The NHRC has called for a report. Till now there is no action on the FIR. In the meantime Hariharan has been rewarded with more important assignments by the Vice-Chancellor such as member of the Planning Board of the university, the coordinator for the UGC NET exam 2014. The Vice Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy is desperate to shield and save Hariharan at all costs despite his proven guilt and acts of omission and commission out of strong fear that he may expose all her wrongdoings.  The teachers and employees who act fairly are victimized and transferred far of places.

In a recent development Vice Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy had issued an order to relieve Registrar Mr. Raajiv Yaduvanshi, I.A.S., of all his duties, an order which she had to cancel later after the strict order from Human Resources Development Ministry. There are continuous attempts by the Vice Chancellor to remove Registrar from his post and put in place her hand picked nominee to conceal her illegal actions. This kind of highhandedness is unbecoming of the post of Vice Chancellor. 

We therefore request the Hon’ble Minister for Human Resource Development to urgently intervene and bring to an end all the irregularities, illegalities and violations being committed by the Vice-Chancellor and her associates which is spoiling the academic and administrative atmosphere in the University and affecting public interest and creating resentment and unrest in all quarters, particularly the student community which has been betrayed by the Vice Chancellor by not honouring the promise of 25% reservation to the Puducherry students for two consecutive academic years now.  We also seek immediate removal of Dr.S. Hariharan and placing him under suspension pending detailed enquiry for various lapses and illegal acts and assaulting and confining an innocent P.G. student.  We also request an enquiry committee to be constituted to probe into the various allegations of administrative, academic and financial irregularities levelled against the Vice Chancellor which are of grave and serious nature.  The MHRD’s direct intervention is immediately necessary to save the University and its prestige.  Otherwise standards will fall further and the public and students will lose faith in the University which will be a black mark for the first time in the history of the University.  If this situation is allowed to continue and the academic atmosphere is not improved, there will be further steep fall in applications for admissions.  The University will lose its attraction as a destination for study, teaching and research.

By way of immediate action, we request the Hon’ble Ministry to kindly initiate necessary steps to accord clearance for the 25% regional reservation in all existing and future courses offered by the Pondicherry University in order to promote and protect the educational and employment interest of the students of Puducherry.

This letter is written in the interest of the student community and the public of Puducherry.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,

                            A Anand,                                                                                P Saravanan,
                    (State Secretary SFI)                                                              (State Secretary DYFI)

Copy to:
The Registrar
Pondicherry University

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