Coimbatore

Bharathiar University Syndicate meeting venue and agenda upsets academics

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Academics are upset over Bharathiar University's decision to hold the latest Syndicate meeting in Chennai and include an agenda to consider lesser punishment for a faculty found guilty of corruption.

The University had planned to hold the March 15 Syndicate meeting in Coimbatore. But on Tuesday night, the University changed the venue for the meeting to Chennai. University sources familiar with the development said the last-minute change of venue was at the behest of Higher Education Secretary.

The Secretary had expressed helplessness due to official engagements and requested that this be a one-time exemption to hold the meeting in Chennai. The University had passed on this information to Syndicate members and hoped they would attend, the sources said.

At a time when the University faced financial crunch, it would have to spend close to ₹ 2 lakh on travel and miscellaneous expenses to take the members to Chennai, said the sources.

If the Secretary was indisposed, the University could have postponed the meeting, said an academic.

It was precisely for such reasons that the Association of University Teachers had opposed Higher Education Department secretaries holding the post of convenor of the Vice Chancellor Committee. If the Secretary had delegated the convenor post to either of the two members of the Committee, it would help the University take quicker decisions, said N. Pasupathi, the Association's State vice president.

The second issue – the agenda before the Syndicate to decide the quantum of punishment to Bharathiar University Arts and Science College, Valparai, L. Ramesh for his involvement in corruption case – has angered the academic community.

The agenda suggests, “...under Rule 17(b) of the Tamil Nadu Government Servant Conduct Rules, it is opined that a major penalty of reduction to a lower stage of pay or to a lower category of the University service under Statute 14(2) of Bharathiar University Statutes Volume II be imposed on him.”

The agenda also goes on to say that other penalties mentioned under Rule 17(b) are reduction to a lower rank in the seniority list, compulsory retirement, removal from civil service of the State Government and dismissal from the civil service of the State Government.

Academics say that when the person in question Mr. Ramesh has been found guilty by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption and charges proved, the agenda should only be about his dismissal.

Further, the inquiry committee the University had constituted in this regard had also recommended imposition of major penalty, which could only be his dismissal, academics say and add that leniency shown towards corrupt faculty or administrative staff would only further dent University's image. Echoing similar thoughts, Mr. Pasupathi said that the Syndicate should not take a lenient view.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:42:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/bharathiar-university-syndicate-meetingvenue-and-agenda-upsets-academics/article26524929.ece

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