M A I N   N E W S

IIT Kharagpur chargesheets whistleblower prof
Reason: He talked to the Press; Charge: He violated conduct rules
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, May 20
Five years ago when Rajeev Kumar, a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur took the RTI route to expose irregularities in the conduct of Joint Entrance Examinations, he knew the opposition he was pitched against.

Having exposed many a shocking manipulation in the JEE system and driven the mighty IITs to the Supreme Court for lack of transparency in the conduct of the entrance exams, Kumar today received a five-page chargesheet from his parent institute which initiated disciplinary proceedings against him. It said: “You are alleged to have had unauthorised interaction with the Press for injuring and damaging the reputation of the institute and for bringing unsubstantiated allegations of mass copying in the conduct of IIT exams, thereby deliberately tarnishing the image of the institute, its students, past and present, and its faculty,” reads the first charge against a man whose struggle began when his son took the IIT-JEE but failed, even though he had cleared all the major technical college entrance exams. Kumar, who has been working on draft after draft to reform the IIT system, has been accused: “Often directly and indirectly, through your personal acquaintances, you used your access to both electronic and print media on issues of personal interest without seeking the permission of authorities. Thereby maligning the institutions and exerting huge mental pressure on the faculty and administrative staff. This is a serious violation of conduct rules,” reads the chargesheet.

IIT Kharagpur has given Kumar 10 days to respond.. Kumar is famous for exposing the faulty system the IITs had been adopting for fixing cut-offs for JEE. This system resulted in the best scoring students being dropped from the list of successful candidates whereas the low scoring candidates emerged high rankers. He also questioned the validity of Optical Response Sheets used by the IITs, and said they were vulnerable to tampering.





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