M.Ramanathan held responsible for lapses in administration

Governor K.Rosaiah, in his capacity as the Chancellor of Annamalai University, on Saturday ordered the suspension of its Vice-Chancellor M.Ramanathan, holding him responsible for the lapses in the university administration and mishandling of financial matters.

The suspension, which will hold good until further orders, came within two days of the government appointing senior IAS officer Shiv Das Meena as the university’s administrator.

The teaching and non-teaching staff members are apprehensive that the axe might fall on any of them next. Their fear is partly justified because there is an allegation that the university has been tottering under the burden of excess , leading to the financial woes.

Those who could earlier muster courage to oppose Pro-Chancellor M.A.M.Ramaswamy and the management have now become circumspect about the government action.

In his suspension notice, the Governor-Chancellor recalled that a Special Audit Team was constituted by the State government under Section 28 of the Annamalai University Act, 1928. The audit team reported financial irregularities, including diversion of funds, running to several crores of rupees and misappropriation of funds. The Governor noted that the institution’s Senate and Syndicate, to which the audit report was forwarded, had admitted lapses on six counts: diversion of university funds to the hospital; appropriation of provident fund and contributory pension fund; non-remittance of pension contribution; lapses in collecting dues; appointments made in excess, and fixation of excessive salaries.

The Governor said that as Principal Executive Officer of the university, vested with various powers, including the power to appoint clerical and other staff, the Vice-Chancellor was responsible for its proper functioning. Therefore, it had become necessary to investigate the matter in detail, in particular with respect to the working of the institution, persons responsible for the maladministration and financial irregularities, and the role played by Dr Ramanathan.