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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

IIT-Bombay sacks physics prodigy, an assistant prof, for absence since 2018

mumbai Updated: Oct 13, 2019 00:47 IST
Priyanka Sahoo
Priyanka Sahoo

Physics prodigy Tathagat Avatar Tulsi, who became one of the youngest people in the world to get a Masters degree in Physics at the age of 12, was recently sacked by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), where he worked as an assistant professor.

He was fired for being absent from the institute since January 2018.

Tulsi graduated with an MSc in Physics in 1999 and in 2010, was appointed as a contractual faculty member at IIT-B’s physics department. In December 2013, he was brought on the rolls as an associate professor. However, he had to go on leave from January 2014 owing to health problems. Tulsi did not return even after the period of sanctioned leave, till December 2017, had passed.

Tulsi, now 32, while speaking to Hindustan Times from Patna, said, “Until December 2017, I was on leave at home in Bihar. Mumbai’s weather had affected my health. I appealed to the institute to transfer me to IIT-Delhi.”

However, according to the Indian Institutes of Technology Act, the institute does not offer the provision for transfers.

In a letter dated July 31, IIT-B director Subasis Chaudhuri informed Tulsi that the latter has been removed from institute’s service.

It stated that the board of governors had taken the decision at the institute’s 247th meeting. The board has held Tulsi accountable for “grave misconduct.”

In July 2018, the institute issued a show-cause to Tulsi, seeking explanation for his absence from service.

This was followed by another show-cause notice in January this year.

“I have been appealing to the institute to put my case forward to the President of India as a special case on health grounds. However, the institute has removed me from service. I have no complaints with IIT-B. They approved my long leave but they didn’t forward my case to the President,” said Tulsi.

Despite repeated attempts, IIT-B spokespersons were unavailable for a comment.

First Published: Oct 13, 2019 00:47 IST

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