The prestigious and nationally acclaimed Madras University has found itself in the midst of controversy after allegations of corruption has surfaced up with regard to misuse of pension corpus fund.
Around 40 members the Madras University Teachers Association (MUTA) staged a protest on the University’s Chepauk campus on Thursday demanding transparency in the varsity’s mode of fund disbursements and also a confirmations of probation for the 94 faculty members who have been hired in the last three years.
The protesting teachers also demanded that a new vice- chancellor (VC) be appointed since the post has been lying vacant for the last 10 months.
The former VC of the university, R. Thandavan had demitted office in January this year.
According to the MUTA members, non-appointment of a Vice-Chancellor had led to the University setting up ad hoc committees.
MUTA general secretary, G Raveendran alleged embezzlement of funds and said that the teachers’ association had discovered, through an RTI application, that crores of rupees from the pension corpus fund had been removed in the past one year without any genuine explanation or records of where the funds were diverted. He demanded a white paper on the university’s financial position to clarify the finances. Raveendran also asked for a committee to be constituted for probing into the possible misappropriation and diversion of funds during the previous vice-chancellor R Thandavan’s tenure.
MUTA has also been protesting against brokering by a group of professors with the connivance of some University authorities to affiliate colleges which had no merit.
He said that after the vice-chancellor demitted office in January, several ad hoc sub-committees had been constituted to inspect all the colleges coming under the university.
However, the constitution of these committees were questionable and not free from bias, according to MUTA general secretary.
The protesters have further alleged that young faculty members were held back from pursuing research. The undue delay in issuing post-probational job confirmation had led to a large number of faculty members being unable to provide guidance to PhD scholars.
This according to the protestors is adversely affecting the working of both the universities as well as the career of students. According to MUTA, in the absence of VC, the university is working through ad-hoc committees, which too have suffered from allegations of corruption.
The concerned sub-committee for recognition, affiliation and inspection, currently consists of five members.