Former deputy director of education for the Mumbai region, NB Chavan, has been suspended by the state school education department after being accused of misusing his authority for online admissions to First Year Junior Colleges (FYJC), teacher approvals and transfers.
Chavan was made the deputy director of education in 2012, after serving for many years as the assistant deputy director. He was transferred to the State Institute of Education Technology, popularly known as Bal Chitravani, last year. He was to retire this month. A city-based activist said, on the condition of anonymity, he had filed the complaints with the department. “Chavan was part of a major scam where he was giving approvals and transfers for cash. His entire team was taking bribes and would pressurise schools,” said the activist. “We suspect large sums of money were involved in the transactions.”
Education commissioner Purshottam Bhapkar confirmed the suspension orders were drawn up on Friday. “We have suspended him temporarily for his role in transferring teachers and also giving teacher approvals illegally,” said Bhapkar.
Approvals from the education department are needed before appointing teachers and other staff across schools in the state. In case of government-aided schools, these approvals are necessary because the state pays the teachers’ salaries. Even private schools have to take approvals before hiring new teachers.
Another major allegation levelled against Chavan is that he interfered in the FYJC online admissions, forcing some colleges to admit students even when he did not have the authority to do so, said Bhapkar. “He has interfered in these admissions beyond his authority,” said Bhapkar. Chavan will be given a chance to defend himself at a departmental hearing.
Chavan told HT he did not receive a show-cause notice before being suspended.
“It is surprising the commissioner directly suspended me without holding an inquiry first,” said Chavan. “I did not even get a letter or a show-cause notice to give me an opportunity to respond. This was unfair and has tarnished my reputation.”