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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Is RTI Act to be blamed for ills of Prof Azis, VC, AMU?

Where did the VC Go Wrong?
The greatest culprits, undoubtedly, are those teachers/Aligs, who empanelled a person as the VC of historic AMU, who has very poor academic record, serious charges of plagiarism in researches, financial bunglings, illegally obtained D.Sc. degree and professorship, all alleged by Prof. V.N.S.S. Pillai of Kerala. These charges were made known through media: Indian Express in November 2006, Outlook in April-May 2007, yet the empanelment. This exposed the connivance, immorality etc of both the Aligs and of Prof. Azis. Common people of Aligarh are cursing those who proposed his name and succeeded in empanelling him.

A large number of Aligs do feel that the VC was under pressure from this very lobby to award them with lucrative administrative positions of AMU. This pressure was further mounted after 17 September 2007, when massive upsurge had taken place. Since then, the group has been pushed aside by the VC. This group is also believed to be desperate to get contracts of construction, and supply of uniforms and shoes (to the Proctorial security personnel), computers, air conditioners and for timber auctions etc. Such contracts, reportedly, used to be obtained by a non-teaching employee-AMU Court Member-EC Member, now a builder-property dealer as well, belonging to this very lobby. [One wonders, why does not he activate the Justice Faizanuddin Committee to investigate into the killings and upsurges of April-September 2007? One also wonders why he put the Justice Mathew Report under the carpet of Inamdar Committee, because action on these Committees/ Report will effectively silence the lobby vexing him. Having illegally recruited/ promoted people in the Media Committee is another big, inexcusable sin of the VC. ]

It was this very group, who, in order to keep the VC its puppet, tried to cash in on very genuine grievances of the teachers for promotions. Unfortunately, the VC mishandled the whole situation, and virtually played into their hands. His stooge in the EC and a former fellow-traveler of the abovementioned lobby, acted like a crass goon to disrupt the GBM of AMUTA. This was very unbecoming of a university campus. This episode put the VC in a wrong box. It turned young lecturers angry against the VC, who maintained a proxy cry of making AMU international, while himself having such a poor academic record, for which his credibility remained under question right since beginning. There was no point in:

(a) being reluctant about holding selection committees,

(b) doing away with screening for non substantive promotion of lecturers to senior scale, more so, when he had to remain reluctant about holding selection committees,

All this happened at a time when VCs credibility dipped further down with outrageously expensive renovation and furnishing of his residence by flouting many rules.

The campaign of the RTI Group [] exposed his many other irregularities. Cutting down teachers legitimate vacations, he and his Registrar kept taking frequent long out-station leaves with high travel bills [a total of which probably go above a crore of rupees, within less than two years of their tenure]. All these wrong-doings washed away his remarkable handling of the law and order situation, and few other good works.

Even tactically it was wrong on his part that when he dissociated himself from the lobby which empanelled him, he should have fulfilled all legitimate demands of the common teachers, rather than using his other stooges in the EC to take recourse to intimidations. His talk of upgrading AMU to an international institution was always laughed out, precisely because of his poor academic standing, and his reported lust for money through construction kickbacks, lodge renovation, income tax scam, travel bills etc.

So, none (except perhaps the RTI Act) has to be blamed for whatever is happening with the VC. Mere legal authorities will not help him run the AMU, he needs moral authority as well, and that has vanished with the reports of enquiry against him, regardless of its consequences.

But the VC, in his 60s, must have turned so rigid in his temperament that he will hardly try to mend his ways. Is it too late for him now?? We must watch this space. The Aligs must look within themselves, why do they allow such lobbies to operate among themselves who empanel such a poor, inefficient and corrupt man as the VC of AMU.


Zafar Khan
H-104, Batla House, New Delhi-25
Source:> Posted on: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:48:09 IST
Mr Zafar Khan can be reached at (please replace >.AT with @)

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