Mid-Western University under CIAA scanner

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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The Surkhet-based Mid-Western University (MWU), which has not even completed a year, has come under scanner over various irregularities. 

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has brought the university under purview of a probe after a complaint that accused the university authorities of appointing professors and employees illegally, and resorting to financial irregularities in the name of purchasing things meant for high-ranking officials. 

Demanding an investigation into irregularities and action against the guilty, student unions had padlocked the university’s central office and the Sanepa-based contact office one month ago. With these offices still shut, the university’s administrative and financial activities have come to a halt. However, students have let academic activities continue. 

The MWU teaches a total of 43 subjects at the Diploma level and the Masters’ level. The CIAA had received a complaint a month ago that blamed the university for appointing professors and employees without forming a Service Commission and giving priority to the relatives of registrar, vice-chancellor and other high-ranking officials in these appointments. 

The complaint further accused the authorities of resorting to financial irregularities while buying things for the university. 

Based on the complaint, the constitutional anti-corruption agency had directed the Ministry of Education to investigate the allegations. 

Subsequently, the ministry has formed a three-member probe committee under the chairmanship of Subash Chandra Dhungel, administrative officer at the University Grants Commission. But with the university office and the contact office locked, the committee has not been able to start investigation, Dhungel said, adding that the probe team has informed the CIAA about this. The university administration had appointed 19 employees and 22 professors internally and a senate meeting had approved it. This got the agitators infuriated and they launched a protest demanding the appointment of professors and employees according to existing laws. 

However, Padam Lal Devkota, vice-chancellor of the university, said the university appointed employees and professors on contract basis in the absence of a Service Commission. 

Devkota said, “CIAA has begun a probe into such an insignificant issue. This is a conspiracy against us.”

Devkota also ruled out financial irregularities in the university. He said some people are intentionally moving ahead against the university and the CIAA is also supporting them. According to Devkota, the annual budget of the university is only Rs 60 million.

Source: The Himalayantimes