Rajiv Kumar of the Institute’s computer science department is under suspension for over 19 months
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has written to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur to review its decision on Professor Rajiv Kumar, who is under suspension for the past 19 months.
Prof. Kumar from the computer science department was suspended in May 2011. The charges against him include “accessing media for personal gain and maligning the institution” as well as “misrepresentation of facts on ‘irregular’ laptop purchase.”
“While the Ministry would not like to interfere in the disciplinary matters of the institute, in view of the aforesaid situation, IIT Kharagpur is directed to review the case of Professor Rajiv Kumar for his continued suspension as per the provisions of Central Civil Services (CCS) and Classification Control and Appeal (CCA) rules and pass a speaking order in this matter,” the letter states.
Prof. Kumar, who raised questions about marking in the IIT-JEE entrance examination system, used RTI to ascertain details of the marks obtained by students during the entrance examination.
Courts laud efforts
His efforts have been lauded by the courts, which said they were aimed at bringing in “transparency in the procedure by various RTI applications.” It was also noted that the debate generated by several views of experts during the course of the writ proceedings, had helped in making the merit-ranking process more transparent and accurate.
Prof. Kumar also alleged that a section of officials of IIT-KGP were involved in running a fake institute within its campus which gave diploma to students; he raised questions about the seating arrangement of IIT students during internal examinations.
“The suspension cannot continue beyond a definite period and the Board (IIT-KGP board) should have prescribed a time-limit for the next review, which should not exceed 180 days as per CCS (CCA) rules,” the letter dated October 22, 2012 says.
For a good atmosphere
Earlier in July 2012, IIT Kharagpur’s Registrar had written a letter to the Ministry, saying the withdrawal of suspension of Prof. Kumar and resumption of duties would adversely affect the academic atmosphere of the institute.
Referring to the IIT’s response on Prof. Kumar’s joining, the Ministry pointed out in the communication that such argument did not appear to be tenable because no such charge had been levelled against the professor in the charge sheet in May 2011.
Asked about the letter, authorities of IIT Kharagpur refused to comment. “The decision regarding the letter will be taken by the IIT Kharagpur Board,” T.K. Ghosal, Registrar of IIT Kharagpur, said without elaborating further.