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AU AERC witnesses change of guards

ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY (AU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Rajen Harshe has appointed the head of the AU Economics Department Prof PN Mehrotra as the new director of the Agro-Economic Research Centre (AERC).
None | By HT Live Correspondent, Allahabad
PUBLISHED ON JUL 27, 2006 12:02 AM IST

ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY (AU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Rajen Harshe has appointed the head of the AU Economics Department Prof PN Mehrotra as the new director of the Agro-Economic Research Centre (AERC).

Prof Mehrotra took charge on Tuesday from Commerce department's Prof SA Ansari, who had been serving as the AERC director for the past over three years.

The change of guard has taken place at a time when the AERC had been in the news for the past over one year for all the wrong reasons including allegations of wrongful appointments and promotions as well as financial wastage.

Some of the AERC employees had even submitted a memorandum in this regard to the AU VC around one-and-a-half years back. The allegations had led to setting up of an inquiry panel under Prof Alka Agarwal by the then AU VC Prof GK Mehta to get to the truth. The inquiry, sources say, found some of the appointments made during Prof Ansari's tenure to be in violation of the set norms and some of the promotions implemented by him in the name of restructuring too to be not based on merit and qualification.

It is being believed that with Prof GK Mehta leaving AU near the end of his term and the varsity being run by officiating vice-chancellors since then had led to the inquiry committee report remaining confined to the shelves.

However, with Prof Rajen Harshe taking over as the first VC of Allahabad Central University, AERC director has now been changed acting on that very report, insiders claim.

It is to be recalled that the AERC, Allahabad University has been assigned various vital functions by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India including conducting investigation into specific agro-economic problems which are of special interest to the Ministry either at micro or macro level as well as carrying out research works on structural changes and fundamental problems of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development of the country.

The AERC has also been entrusted with the task of giving technical advice to the Union Government and States on such issues as with mutual agreement may be referred to them besides also conducting ad-hoc investigations into problems in which the State or Central Government is specially interested.

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