Published: 08th June 2021
UoH students' group calls for CBI enquiry into ex-VC's days after he retires
The student group said that Dr Rao focused less on improving academic activities and that it is evident from the falling rankings
Dr Appa Rao Podile, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad might have left the university, but a section of the students want to hold him accountable for alleged misconduct, corruption and violation of university laws. The All India OBC Students Association (AIOBCSA) wants the CBI to look into the alleged "violations in recruitments, misuse of Institution of Eminence (IoE) funds, and personal accumulation of wealth".
The students alleged that Dr Rao has personally targeted students who protested against him and had put them through immense mental trauma. The faculty and non-teaching staff were also not spared, said the students. "We tried all democratic means to build pressure on ex-VC Appa Rao for solving our issues. We sent representations to the President of India, NCBC, Ministry, UGC and OBC Parliamentary committee. We organised a 15-day OBC Satyagraha in December 2020 and January 2021. In March, we demanded his resignation in front of the Academic Council. Our issue is still with the Ministry and NCBC. Dr Rao used all his powers and political influence in suppressing the truth. The justice was delayed and thus denied," said Kiran Kumar, President, AIOBCSA and a research scholar at the Department of Political Science, UoH.
The student group said that Dr Rao focused less on improving academic activities and that it is evident from the fact that the University of Hyderabad has been fallen in ranks when it comes to the world and national level university rankings. "UoH's NIRF Rankings came down from 4 in 2016 to 14 in 2020, drastic fall in overall score from 83.19 in 2016 to 59.92 in 2020. QS Rankings saw a drop from 601-650 in 2018 to 650-700 in 2021 and a sharp decline from 106 to 142 in the QS Asian Universities category. Even the Ministry of Education (MoE) sent a caution letter to the University of Hyderabad for improving the QS rankings on July 27, 2020," said the AIOBCSA.
They also said that no funds were released for fellowships or scholarships under the Institution of Eminence (IoE) funds. The major chunk of funds was spent on construction activities, they claim, "Achieving the main objective of the IoE to double the student intake in five years will remain a difficult task as we are in our fourth year. The notification of PhD and MPhil according to the ratio stipulated by the UGC — four for Assistant Professor, six for Associate Professor and eight for Professor — was never notified and it was gross injustice to the marginalised and poor students," a statement from the AIOBCSA read.