After flouting the University Grant Commission (UGC) norms and facing allegations of large-scale corruption in the promotion process, the State Higher Education Department has demoted eight professors to the rank of selection grade lecturers.
The Hindustan Times was the first to report the scam on October 21 2005.
Dr Ambedkar Teachers’ Welfare Association had lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta and Anti-Corruption Bureau naming four top-level officers of the rank of director (one of them is vice-chancellor of university in Vidarbha), a deputy secretary and under secretary (both attached to Mantralaya) for receiving financial favours and hatching a conspiracy.
The demoted teachers include incumbent Director of Higher Education Dr KM Kulkarni, Dr MS Gadegane and Dr BG Kulkarni who are the Directors of State-run Administrative Training Institutes respectively in Nagpur and Mumbai. Ms SA Bhide retired from the state service recently. Other retired teacher now serving as Registrar of a Kolhapur university also faces demotion.
The axe has also fallen on Ms SA Bhide and Dr AA Saoji and (both Nagpur Institute of Science) and Dr Ms VV Mulwad (Mumbai Institute of Science).
KM Kulkarni, then joint director who took over as director of Higher Education after elevation, was accused of supervising his own promotion process. He appointed experts for evaluation of candidates and signed interview call letters last year.
“I’ve received the notice. And I’m preparing my reply,” Dr Gadegane said over the phone from Nagpur. Dr Ms VV Mulwad from Mumbai Institute of Science said all the demoted teachers would take a joint action. “We’ve not charted out future course of action as yet,” she said not denying the possibility of moving the court.
The teachers were promoted to the highest rank of professor under the Career Advance Scheme in May last flouting UGC guidelines that barred selection grade lecturers from such elevation. Only a reader, a rank above selection grade lecturer Dr VA Tabhane has got UGC clearance. He is Director of Nagpur’s Institute of Science.
Objecting to the process, UGC first asked the State Government to clarify. Then it ordered for canceling promotions. The government has issued show-cause notices (a copy of which is with HT) to all demoted teachers last week confirming their demotions.
“The notice were issued to follow the system of natural justice,” a senior Higher Education Department said on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorized to speak to the Press. Department’s Principal Secretary Joyce Shankaran has proceeded on long leave and therefore wasn’t available for comment.