Audit of government universities urged but to what purpose?
All across the world, university education is seen as the key to a better future, providing the essential tools that people need to sustain their livelihoods, live with dignity and contribute to society. But unfortunately, like other sectors, our public universities are also prone to corruptions.
Media reports in a national daily on Saturday said that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has found 25 allegations against Rajshahi University (RU) Vice-Chancellor Prof M Abdus Sobhan, Pro-VC Prof Choudhury M Zakaria and several others of the university.
Meanwhile, a probe body headed by Prof. Dil Afroz Begum, a UGC member, submitted its report to Ministry of Education, Anti-Corruption Commission and Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday. It recommended an audit of the assets of RU VC, pro-VC, some teachers, officials and their dependents for aiding the corruption and irregularities.
It also suggested removal of RU Registrar Prof Abdul Bari for not cooperating during the investigation.
Earlier on January 4 this year, some 62 teachers and two job seekers submitted an allegation to the PMO office, Education Ministry, UGC and ACC against RU VC Prof Sobhan and Pro-VC Prof Zakaria. They brought the allegations of corruption, nepotism and illegal recruitment against the VC and others in the 300-page allegation sheet.
It is to be noted that on December 2 last, the HC Bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton issued a rule asking the authorities to explain under what authority Prof. Sobhan is holding the office of RU Vice-Chancellor. The court came up with the rule following a writ petition filed by Salman Firoz Faisal, a former student of the varsity, challenging the legality of the appointment of Prof. Sobhan as the VC of the university.
The media reports stated that following the directives of the PMO office and Education Ministry; the UGC formed the three-member committee to probe the allegations. The VC also allegedly relaxed the recruitment policy and appointed his daughter and son-in-law as teachers at the university. In addition, some 34 low-qualified candidates have been recruited as teachers.
Corruption is the power of the government to enjoy power. It is a shame for us to be so fool as not to recognise that corruption is the life blood of the government.