iconimg Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 13, 2014
A professor of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur has demanded an immediate protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act 2011. Dr Rajeev Kumar, 55, a professor of computer science and engineering at IIT Kharagpur had been served a show cause notice last month seeking ‘compulsory retirement’.

A memo dated June 26, 2014 said that Kumar had violated the rules of the institute on several counts and that the board of governors had found him guilty of the charges and that a “penalty of compulsory retirement may be imposed”. Kumar was asked to furnish a reply within 15 days of the notice.

In his reply to the board, Kumar demanded protection on the grounds that he was a  whistleblower. “I am being victimised due to my several disclosures about IIT Kharagpur administrators, who had conducted and/or are conducting disciplinary action against me,” he wrote.

Kumar was suspended from May 2011 to April 2013 by the IIT and was debarred from teaching, research work and entering his office. The suspension order was revoked on instructions from the HRD ministry.

The professor had discovered inaccuracies in the merit lists of IIT-JEE for admissions in IITs. He had also uncovered many other issues — like unattended errors in question settings/evaluation, filling vacant seats through back-doors, administrator wards’ admissions, a high purchase rate of laptops, the running of a state institute on the IIT-Kharagpur campus, tampering of Optical Response Sheet in undue haste, etc.

The Supreme Court had earlier termed Kumar as “one of the many unsung heroes who helped in improving the system.”