Dens of corruption

The state government’s decision to initiate criminal proceedings against former vice chancellor of Mysore University, J Shashidhar Prasad for alleged violation of rules and regulations in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff when he was heading the hallowed university, is much delayed, but still welcome. The controversial former vice chancellor is alleged to have flouted the government and University Grants Commission rules in the  appointment of 162 persons made to the posts of professors, readers, lecturers and other non-teaching positions during his tenure in 2006-07. A one-man commission headed by retired high court judge H Rangavitalachar, which inquired into the allegations, had confirmed in September last that the selection committee chaired by Shashidhar Prasad had given a go-by to the rules regarding educational qualifications, the prescribed experience and reservation norms while making these appointments. Apart from directing the university to file criminal charges against the former vice chancellor under Section 8(4) of the Karnataka Universities Act, the state government has also decided to issue notices to the appointees, who may have to be proceeded against for illegalities.

The fact that it has taken over three years after these appointments were made and over eight months since the inquiry commission submitted its report for the government to act, does not speak highly of the government’s commitment to probity in public life. The 94-year-old Mysore University, which had such eminent vice chancellors as H V Nanjundayya and Kuvempu and such distinguished faculty as S Radhakrishnan and R K Narayan in the past, should now have become a den of corruption, is a matter of great pity. Apart from punishing the guilty, the government should mercilessly initiate steps to clean up the university of the elements that are polluting it.

Another scandal lurks in the Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries University, Bidar, where the vice chancellor and a former registrar have been accused of indulging in malpractices in appointments and promotions. The divisional commissioner of Gulbarga in her report to the governor and pro chancellor, has pointed out serious irregularities in the appointment and promotion of assistant professors. There should be no delay on government’s part to drive home the point that it will not allow the universities to be misused by unscrupulous elements for personal gain.

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