Ravindra new ISEC Board chairman

The stalemate at the premier Institute for Social and Economic Changes (ISEC) appears to have ended with the Board of Governors (BoG) removing Prof G Thimmaiah as the chairman.

The decision was taken in the 175th board meeting held on Saturday with a majority of the members of the board voting for the resolution to remove Prof Thimmaiah. The BoG had elected former IAS officer Dr A Ravindra as the new chairman of the ISEC.
 
The BoG had become defunct as Prof Thimmaiah had brought an injunction order not to hold any meeting.  When the Board of Governors sought to convene a meeting, Prof Thimmaiah had moved an application before a lower court and got an injunction on eight board members, including former IAS officers A Ravindra and S S Meenakshisundaram, restraining them from compelling the chairman to hold the meeting. Because the board was not functioning, the appointment of search committee for selecting the full-time director had been delayed.

Sources said that though the injunction suit was posted for final orders on August 18, Prof Thimmaiah had to submit before the court to call for the board meeting on August 1, as per the byelaws.

The resolution stated, “Prof Thimmaiah was elected as chairman of the institute of the board of Governors in January 2013 for a term of three years.

“He has been functioning against the rules and regulations of the institution and engaging in actions which are opposed to the interest, image and objective of the ISEC. The board passed a resolution against continuance of Thimmaiah as chairman of the Board of Governors of ISEC for the remaining period of his term.''

Out of 12 members who attended the meeting on Saturday, eight agreed on the resolution and signed while four members, including Thimmaiah, did not sign.

Sources also added that in pursuance of the resolution, the BoG elected Dr Ravindra as the new chairman for the remaining period, which is due to end in December 2015. “Dr Ravindra immediately took charge on Saturday and continued the proceedings of the board meeting.

The next board meeting will be held on August 17,” a source said.

Complaint

A member of the Board of Governors, Dr T N Bhat had filed a complaint with the Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi against the then director of ISEC, Prof Binay Kumar Pattnaik, accusing him of violating the institution’s byelaws and clearing tenders for works in violation of the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements Act. However, the Lokayukta enquiry was stayed by the High Court based on a petition from Thimmaiah.

Binay Kumar Pattnaik was appointed as the Director in July 2013 by former governor H R Bhardwaj.

Rs 1-cr survey

The complaint before the Upalokayukta had stated that Pattnaik approved awarding the contract to agencies for conducting household survey and data feeding work, which involved an estimated cost of Rs one crore. After attending the enquiry before the Upalokayukta, Pattnaik tendered his resignation to Prof Thimmaiah, though it should have been forwarded to the governor, who is the president of ISEC.

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