[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]C[/dropcap]AG (Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General)‘s findings exposes more skeletons from Aligarh Muslim University(AMU)’s cupboard. This time it shows that the Vice Chancellor (VC) Retd. Lt. General Zameeruddin Shah totally violated the norms of “abroad travel”. PGurus has already reported the CAG findings that Shah had collected huge cash and jewellery from abroad as donations on behalf of the University and CAG found bungling of norms in keeping these donations.
…after getting the SC notice, Union HRD Ministry has summoned VC Shah to explain the position of his qualifications.
President of India, the Visitor and Chancellor of all Central universities, who is the appointing authority of Central Universities Vice-Chancellors, has been kept in the dark by the AMU VC and Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) since 2012 till date regarding their domestic and foreign travels. The findings of the CAG in this regard is published at the end of this article.
The VC of AMU is permitted by its Ordinances to attend international conferences and will be treated as being “on duty” during that period. He shall however, send information in advance, to the Visitor about his plans to attend such conferences. There is no such provision for attending international conference by the PVC at all.
The Audit has noticed that frequent domestic and abroad trips were undertaken by both VC and PVC of AMU without any permission from competent authority and also without any justification for such visits. The CAG reports (p-74) “….both involved in frequent unnecessary travel…” and adds “..no prior intimation or notification or itinerary exists… huge expenses are being incurred by the university on travel of these two officials” by which they have kept the President of India in the dark.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n this respect Audit memo was issued on 14th December 2015 to furnish the relevant records, from their respective dates of joining till date and the rules which permit them for such visits without permission from the competent authority. Despite repeated reminders (three) by the Audit, the university simply evaded answering, reports the CAG (p-75). Moreover the two authorities also failed to report the matter of their visits to the University Executive Council. To quote CAG report “… it seems to be a clear cut case of violation of leave rules and wilful misuse of power”.
The irony is that the Vice Chancellor who has been violating the leave rules since his appointment has suspended a senior Teacher Mustafa Zaidi, of Library and Information Science Department, for availing one day Casual leave without prior information, though the then Service Rules of Teachers permitted it. That Mustafa Zaidi is the Honorary Secretary, AMU Teachers’ Association is a noteworthy point.
Now the Supreme Court (SC) has issued notice to the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry and the University Grants Commission (UGC) on a petition filed by noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan exposing that the retired army officer Shah has no academic qualifications to hold the post of a Vice Chancellor. Film actor Naseeruddin Shah’s brother Zameeruddin Shah was appointed as the VC by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. On Friday, after getting the SC notice, Union HRD Ministry has summoned VC Shah to explain the position of his qualifications.
The question that arises is when the Union HRD Ministry and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are going to take action against Aligarh Muslim University as suggested by the CAG? Or will this be a forgive and forget in the name of so called secularism?
Here are Pages 74, 75 from the CAG findings:
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I trust we remember that rules have to be followed wherever public money and property is involved, this includes donations and gifts received for the institution, even personal gifts are covered, as most of them are given to a representative of an organisation who one may not meet as an individual.
The biggest and only problem with the present VC and his administration is their wilful refusal to follow rules and idiosyncratic interpretation of the rules they claim to follow.
For example special rules on the tender process and awarding of contracts were sought to be implemented for private donations for the Management Complex, these rules threw accountability to the winds and were quite different from Government rules that are already in place.
To rob Peter to pay Paul is still a crime. A Robin Hood is still a hood because he makes his own rules. In India the Naxalites or Maoists are considered outside law because they have problems with our laws that in their interpretation are unjust and discriminatory.
An real life example may clarify:
A Government servant living in an official quarter shifts a spare AC from his office to any spare room at his residence.
Shall we accept it because the AC has been sanctioned for the personal use of the officer, and he exercised officially sanctioned discretion as to its installation at a place of his choice?
I am certain we don’t need such an example.
The funds collected by the VC have been put to good use. The university has benefitted tremendously. The tenure of the present VC has been very beneficial to the university and the community.
Please, for the good of the nation do not hound him. The AMU needs many such VCS.