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Atul Patankar

An NIT whitleblower uses RTI to expose ‘fake bills’

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Atul Patankar

As reported by MUKESH BHARDWAJ at www.expressindia.com on 07 April 2009


Chandigarh The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has finally taken cognisance of a relentless campaign waged by a faculty member of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Kurukshetra, Mahesh Gupta, who had blown the whistle against alleged fictitious travel bills by some of the experts who visited the institute. The CVC has sought detailed information on the points raised by him.


It had been quite tough for this whistle blower to keep his fight on, and thus suffered alleged discrimination and bias while his campaign carried on. He procured all the documents to prove his allegations under the RTI and is now waiting the rightful to be done. Gupta has moved the needle of suspicion towards majority of the 23 professors of various IITs of the country including Delhi, Chennai, Kanpur, Mumbai and Kharagpur for making fictitious travel claims. He alleged that in lieu of this favour, some of these professors went to the extent of signing of the blank proceedings of the selection process of the faculty of NIT Kurukshetra.


Interestingly, Gupta himself was selected during one of these interviews. It all started when the NIT Kurukshetra conducted interviews for different open posts and promotion under CAS in various departments of the institute.


He recalled that one of the members of the Selection Committee (a Professor from IIT Kanpur) left the Committee Room after his interview and was not present in the interviews held for the open posts scheduled later in the day as an expert. Later he also came to know from the website of IIT Kanpur that the member expert who interviewed him was an Electrical Engineer. Gupta who is a Mechanical Engineer could not swallow and decided to use the RTI to bring the truth to the public.


He collected copies of TA bills of all the members of the Selection Committees; the minutes of all the interviews held; the record of the Guest House; the invitation letters send to these members and many other documents, from NIT Kurukshetra and from other public authorities including NHAI, New Delhi.


Documents available with Gupta claimed on the basis of documents procured under RTI that many of these professors had submitted blank signed copies of the TA bills and minutes of the interviews in collusion with the higher authorities of the NIT.


As per the entries made in the TA bills and other enclosures with the these bills, it is apparent that three nominees who were members of all the selection committees for the interviews held were not present at all with one or the other selection committees though the proceedings showed them present at the meetings.


In return of this favour to allow the NIT authorities to do things according to their wish, these Professors were given a lavish treatment by the NIT administration. They were given amount claimed by them over and above the norms ot the institute, alleged Gupta.


Registrar of the Institute, RPS Lohchab, who was alleged to have attended some of the meetings “unauthorisedly” when contacted, cited the rules of NIT that permitted him to be in the meeting as its secretary.

“The allegations are completely false and baseless,” said Lohchab. M N Bandhopadhaya, Director of the Institute, when contacted, refused to comment.


Source: An NIT whitleblower uses RTI to expose ‘fake bills’ - Express India

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That is good news. Let us hope that it is taken to the logical conclusion without victimising the whistle blower.

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