Published: 04th July 2019
SFI demands removal of Pondicherry University Registrar over under-qualification allegations
SFI Puducherry has alleged that the current registrar of Pondicherry University is not qualified to hold the post and now they are demanding her removal
The Puducherry faction of the Students' Federation of India has alleged that the current Registrar of Pondicherry University Dr B Chithra is not qualified to hold the post as she has an FIR registered against her name in 2015. After several such allegations were bandied around on social media, the Registrar has chosen to remain silent, refusing comment when contacted.
The allegations come days after the Registrar issued a circular to the effect that Pondicherry University would only deal with elected student unions and not those affiliated to political parties. However, members of the SFI claim that their allegations have little to do with the circular.
The university has denied all the allegations against the Registrar saying that they will only reply to the CAG regarding the audit report that the SFI has cited. "Dr Chithra's appointment was done by following a scrutinised process and by a duly selected commitee under the aegis of the Vice-chancellor of the university in 1989. I do not understand why a 30-year-old issue is coming up now. The university will officially issue a statement regarding this in sometime. However, we firmly deny any kind of allegations put forward by the SFI, " K Mahesh, Assistant Registrar, Pondicherry University told Edex.
The SFI has questioned the silence of the university administration in this matter, saying, "The executive council, which is the supreme body of the University has consistently taken a stand that those occupying the office of Registrar should be persons of highest integrity and if their names are mentioned in an FIR they ought to demit office. But in the case of Dr Chithra why did the Vice Chancellor choose [sic] an accused for the post of Registrar?"
A lengthy post on the SFI Puducherry Facebook post on Tuesday alleges that she is named as an accused in FIR No: 48/2015 and charged under sections 143, 342 and a few others. The post adds, "A political heavyweight from Puducherry trumpeting as the daughter of the soil occupying the highest position has brought indelible shame to this University."
The reply of an RTI filed by A Anand, former SFI president and current DYFI Puducherry president, has revealed a CAG Audit Report (May 29, 2018) pertaining to the appointment of Dr Chithra as the Assistant Registrar in 1989. The referred report says that Dr Chithra was appointed as Assistant Registrar on September 27, 1989 (Vide Pondicherry University letter No. PU/Estt/E1/II-A(60)/89/8822). She had only written her final year examination of the Master's degree in Law during June 1988, which revealed that she did not possess the minimum qualification required at the time of applying for the post of Assistant Registrar. The audit report also found out that there was no record to prove her possessing two years of work experience as required to apply for the post.
(Access the audit report here: https://www.slideshare.net/ShreeshaGhosh/chithra-cag-audit-report)
The report concludes that she "did not possess both the requirement of educational qualification and experience at the time of submitting application/ appointment". She was appointed as the Registrar at the varsity in February this year. "It is extremely misleading and strange that when the CAG Audit has categorically concluded that Dr Chithra did not possess the required essential qualification even at the time of her initial appointment as Assistant Registrar, how did the university's VC choose her for the post of Registrar now?" asks Anand, and adds, "The only solution now is to remove her from the post and appoint an educationalist or academician who is qualified for the same."
Another RTI filed by the SFI, allegedly revealed that Dr Chithra was repatriated to her parent department in Pondicherry University in 2013 from Indian Maritime University where she had been holding the post of the Controller of Examinations. The report attached with the RTI said that she was repatriated by the executive council at IMU for several irregularities which alleged that she had submitted false LTC claims, grant of excess increments and other irregularities in respect of her issuing printing and supply orders for the statement of mark sheets and question papers.
(Read the RTI here: https://www.slideshare.net/ShreeshaGhosh/chitra-rti-from-imu-1)
The SFI has obtained the documents and now demands her removal to "restore the glory of the university of its yesteryears." Anand told Edex that they will be conducting a meeting on Thursday, after which they will decide on a future course of action. "We are planning on organising protests, but not right now as the admission procedures are still ongoing at the university campus," adds Anand.