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HRD Pushes Proposal To Sack Garhwal Varsity V-C

A proposal seeking to dismiss the Vice-Chancellor of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal (HNBG) University, Jawahar Lal Kaul, by the HRD Ministry has been moved over alleged administrative irregularities. The proposal was received by the President’s office about a week ago.

This is the first such instance of NDA-II government which has sought the removal of its own appointee in a central university. Kaul was appointed the varsity head in November 2014 during the tenure of Smriti Irani as the HRD Minister.

Allegations:

  • Allowing affiliated colleges to increase their intake to a count of 200 seats in some courses when the university rules permit not more than 60 seats in each programme and 80 in exceptional cases.
  • The college affiliation fee was charged at an amount that was lower than the prescribed one.
  • Approving backdated affiliation to a few teacher training institutes
  • Allowing the university to declare examination results of some private institutes when the status of their affiliation to the university was under the scanner

Alleging administrative mismanagement, Kaul was also served a show cause notice in February 2017 based on conclusions of a two-member fact-finding committee set up to probe complaints from Central Vigilance Commission last year. Kaul was given three weeks to present his defence.

The Central Universities Act of 2009, which covers 16 central universities set up by the UPA government, empowers HRD Ministry to fire V-Cs on grounds of incapacity, misconduct or violation of statutory provisions.

The HNGB university comes under the ambit of this law. The show-cause notice was issued under the Section 2(5) of the Act.

As per the sources, Kaul’s defense over the approval of increasing seats more than the permitted limit and not charging the correct amount for affiliation were not found to be satisfactory by the ministry and, hence, the proposal to sack him was initiated.

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