Belagavi: The teaching and non-teaching faculty members of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) gheraoed Karan Kumar, executive council (EC) member of the university at the campus here on Saturday, for creating doubts on the recruitment process. Kumar allegedly gave wrong statements in the media, questioning the eligibility of the recruited candidates.

Holding plaques reading ‘Respect Teachers’, ‘Don’t Insult VTU’ outside the meeting hall, faculty members chanted slogans while the executive committee meeting was on. As many as 168 teaching and non-teaching faculty were recruited in 2013. Karan Kumar has raised questions over the procedure of recruitment of this faculty.

With Karan Kumar coming out of the meeting hall, faculty members gheraoed him and asked why he had raised a voice of dissent over the procedure of recruitment after 25 months. They said if he had any issues with the procedure, he should not have signed on the appointments, being an EC member. If everything went right then, why is he raising the issue in the media, instead of in an EC meeting, they asked him.

The members said they were recruited after going through the due number of procedures, technical interviews and scrutiny.

In the past two years, the faculty has submitted over 500 research papers and written 23 books, and also received one increment. By giving such statements in the media, he is damaging the image of the university where more than 6 lakh students study, they said.

Official stands firm

Responding to the agitators, Karan Kumar said he was firm about what he had told the media. According to him, irregularities had marred the process of recruitment. The major reason for his doubt is that VTU authorities did not give him the documents maintained for recruitment. “I had raised the issue in the 107th, 108th and 109th EC meetings of VTU,” he said.

“In fact, I had requested inclusion of this agenda in today’s meeting, but it was dropped at the last moment. I did not understand why the vice-chancellor and registrar dropped the subject,” he said.

Kumar amended his charge, saying “maybe not all, but at least 30% recruitments were made in violation of norms. A commission appointed to enquire into the issue found these irregularities. The one-man commission report is with the governor and we have to wait till the report become a public document”.

EC members upset

EC members including DH Rao, Vasudev Murthy, Pralhad Rathod, RR Malagi, Nagaraj Patil and vice-chancellor HG Shekharappa have disagreed with Kumar’s response to the agitating faculty members on recruitment-related documents.

V-C Shekharappa and DH Rao said all procedures have been followed according to guidelines, and the process was transparent. All details are available with the university, and names and many other details were published on the notice board.

Vasudev Rao said faculty members need not worry about their jobs, which have the approval of the executive committee and governor.

He condemned the statements made by Karan Kumar to the media, when he had already submitted his grievances before the enquiry commission constituted by the governor.

With the report already with the governor, he should wait for details of the commission report instead of giving damaging statements, he said.

On dropping of the subject from the meeting agenda, the EC members clarified that 27 subjects were dropped following the instructions of the chancellor.

Police security has been arranged for Saturday’s EC meeting after Karan Kumar wrote to SP Ravikante Gowda, citing threats from teaching and non-teaching staff who have warned him not to attend the meeting, as there are chances of an attack.
Source: TOI-BGLR