Mumbai : Maharashtra government on Thursday suspended higher education director Dr Dhanraj Mane over charges of large scale irregularities in the professors appointment in 2012 while he was registrar at the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Marathwada University.
Mane will now face departmental inquiry. An announcement in this regard was made by the education minister Vinod Tawde in the legislative assembly. Two weeks ago, SK Mahajan, Director, Directorate of Technical Education was also removed over charges of corruption and Dalit atrocities.
In case of Mane, legislators Atul Save, Subhash Sable, Dr Jaiprakash Mundara and others had raised the issue and questioned the government for delay in taking action against Mane.
Incidentally, three member committee was constituted by the Congress-NCP government in 2013 to probe the allegations. The committee submitted its report to the government in 2014. It is gathering dust since then.
Senior officials said the committee found Mane’s involvement in the irregular appointments of 53 persons, including professors, associate professors and non teaching staff. Over 56 persons were hired by the University during Mane’s tenure of which 53 were selected even as they didn’t meet eligibilty criteria, claimed officials.
Mahajan is demoted a level down owing to an FIR filed against him in Karad last year under the SC and the ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, following which he was arrested and later set out on bai . Another petition is pending in the Bombay High Court raises charges of corruption against him.
Mahajan couldn’t be reached for comments until the time of going to press. Sources closed to him said he has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court demanding to quash the FIR.
The twin suspensions have come at the time when the education minister is himself facing allegations of irregularities in the approval of colleges belonging to BJP leaders.
According to a report in a vernacular daily, Tawde had reportedly approved 13 new colleges in Maharashtra using his special powers even as the colleges didn’t meet the norms and their applications were earlier rejected by the government officials. This includes three colleges promoted by BJP Maharashtra chief Raosaheb Danve and one by Water resources minister Girish Mahajan.
While Tawde was unreachable for comments till the time of going to press, his office maintained,”Colleges were approved to meet the need of the local community, rising population and girls education. The minister has used his special power given to him under section 85(5) of the Maharashtra University Act to do that.”
Tawde also announced that a committee of retired high court justice will probe how Mane evaded action despite a report indicting him submitted to the government in 2014 end. Legislators accuse babus in the department have been shielding him all this way and action must be taken against them as well.
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