Govt pulls up UoM over former prof's sabbatical

Fails to fulfill stipulated leave conditions

The Department of Higher Education has pulled up University of Mysore and sought explanations regarding the sabbatical leave of B R Ananthan, who retired as vice-chancellor of Rani Chennamma University, recently. The letter by the department, follows a Lokayukta complaint against the professor.

According to a complaint, Ananthan, who was professor at Bahadur Institute of Management Sciences, was granted sabbatical leave by the varsity in the year 2007. As per the conditions of the leave, Ananthan had to submit a book on social responsibility of business, following the completion of his leave. However, the former vice-chancellor, did not submit any book authored by him after his return from the sabbatical in 2008. He retired during the same year and was later appointed as vice-chancellor of Rani Chennamma University.

RTI activist, Sekar S Iyer, filed a complaint with the Lokayukta in 2012 highlighting the irregularities of Ananthan’s sabbatical leave, a period during which the retired professor drew approximately Rs 18 lakh as salary.

Following the complaint, Lokayukta directed the Higher Education department to take action for the irregularities by the professor.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Iyer said that even the varsity had acknowledged the fact that the professor did not fulfill the conditions of his sabbatical leave.

 An undated copy of the book, ‘Social Responsibility of Business: An Indian Context’, was submitted only in June 2014, seven years after his sabbatical. Apart from the book, Ananthan also had to submit a report about his activities during his sabbatical year, which too was not submitted, he said. The complainant had alleged that UoM had violated regulations by paying salary to Ananthan and had demanded that action be initiated to recover the same.

Detailed explanation

In the letter November 17, the department has sought explanations regarding the duration of leave, whether it was as per regulations to pay salary to the professor who had not fulfilled the conditions of sabbatical leave, the losses suffered by the varsity, and whether any action has been taken to recover the losses.

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