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Nalsargate: Download full judicial report on gold meddles, distance learning & scorpions; Nalsarites call off protest

Hyderabadi scorpion biryani
Hyderabadi scorpion biryani
Nalsar Hyderabad has today disclosed the full copy of the three-judge report on the university to Legally India, containing around 50 additional pages of findings from the detailed four-month investigation published in September 2011, as Nalsar students called off a protest against the administration.

The college’s public information officers supplied Legally India with a full copy of the 161-page report today via email.

[Download full report here (docx file, 1.04MB), quality of scan variable]

Legally India has reproduced several extracts below out of pages 15-18, 35-59, 91-97, 101-108 and 114-139, which were not provided yesterday due to apparent technical issues.

The missing pages include issues such as faculty taking leave without any records; not following procedure in awarding gold medals; accounting oversights in respect of faculty advances; not following UGC guidelines in faculty recruitment; starting distance learning and postgraduate courses and degrees with third party institutions in contrary to UGC or common procedure; as well as the presence of poisonous animals such as scorpions near the campus without adequate medical supplies or personnel available.

No contest

It is understood from student sources that a number of first and second-year students had planned to hold a peaceful protest after today’s surprise exam, to question the lack of implementation of the findings of the report.

But one student involved in the protest said that members of the student body committee (SBC) discouraged the juniors from protesting because it could damage fourth and fifth-year recruitment prospects.

SBC president Abhishek Singh commented: “Everything is peaceful at Nalsar. I am not aware of any such meeting.”

“We had already put up posters for the protest in the mess last night. But the second year students backed out. It didn’t happen,” said a student who was part of the planned protests. “We are now drafting a petition to be presented to the chancellor seeking the implementation of the report.”

A student unconnected to the protests said that only a limited number of Nalsar students were on campus: “Not all the students were on board. There were a lot of people who had already left for [the sports festival] Invicta in [NUJS] Calcutta”.

The student added that some felt it would be better to take more time to decide on a course of action and formulate detailed proposals, rather than reacting in a “knee jerk” fashion.

“People are very happy,” commented one student about student and faculty reactions to Legally India’s disclosure of 100 pages of the the three-judge committee report yesterday. “It’s good that it's out in the open.”

[Download full report here (docx file, 1.04MB), quality of scan variable]

Previous stories on Nalsargate:

Photo by Matt Reinbold

Excerpts and highlights from remaining pages

Leaving casually (page 15 and 16)

Except for a casual leave file, there is no record maintained with respect to any other leave having been taken by the Vice Chancellor. The personal file of the Vice-Chancellor does not contain any leave application. The casual leave file maintained each year does not reflect any such leave having been availed by the Vice Chancellor. The latest trip of the Vice Chancellor to Canada in June, 2011 “) is also not shown as leave of any sort either in the casual leave file or in the personal file or in the Leave register, though he has been paid his monthly remuneration during this period of absence.

From the inception of the University till date, no permission seems to have been sought or obtained by the Vice Chancellor and the Registrar of NALSAR from either the Executive Council or the Chancellor for availing earn leave, duly leave, etc. When the earn leave register was partly inspected on 27.07.2011, the duty leave sheet of Professor M. Sridharacharyulu was updated only till 28.09.2005. However the inspection on 28.07.2011 revealed a few additional entries having been made therein.

Gold meddling? (Page 18)

Contrary to the Regulations the then Vice Chancellor by his circular dated 26.08.2004, while constituting the gold medal committee, informed them that the two gold medals for the best student (i.e., one boy and one girl) would be decided by him. A similar circular, conferring power on himself to decide the two gold medals for best students (one boy and one girl), was issued by the Vice-Chancellor on 15.06.2005.

Though the regulations required the Vice-Chancellor to constitute a committee comprising of five members, a committee of only four members was constituted by circular dated 26.08.2004; a committee of three members by office order dated 20.06.2008; and a committee of four members by office order dated 28.07.2009.

Faculty qualifications under UGC? (Page 39 and 40)

Students have complained, and several faculty members have admitted, that the quality of the faculty recruited in the recent past leaves much to be desired. Students have also highlighted the wide gulf, between course design and course execution, which they attribute to the mediocrity of some of the faculty members recruited \in the not too distant past. To compound the problem, appointment of teachers in the recent past has been on contract basis. Such contractual appointments on fixed remuneration curtails not only the freedom of academic expression of such teachers, but also forces them to toe the line of the management lest their serv1ces be dispensed with at any time.

We were informed that, when qualified and competent alumni, (including those who have studied in institutions such as Oxford University), apply for jobs, they are rejected on the ground that UGC Guidelines do not permit teachers with one-year LL.M or an equivalent degree. In their representation su bmitted to this committee, the Alumini have informed us that, as per UGC Regulations for Minimum Qualification for Appointment of Teachers (Maintenance of Standards in Higher Education) promulgated on 30th June 2010, the only requirement for an Assistant Professor of law is 55% in a Masters- Level program at an Indian University, or an equivalent qualification at an accredited foreign University. The NALSAR Alumni are said to have secured teaching jobs in other Law schools in the country.

If other law schools in the country have invited NALSAR Alumni to join their faculty, there is no reason why NALSAR should not consider inviting these talented youngsters who, perhaps, would be more keen on joining their alma-mater than work in other Law schools. NALSAR must, however, ensure that such appointments are not in violation of the law for the time being in force.

There is an urgent need for the University to settle the permanent cadre strength, and advertise for all such positions which are vacant. The best _faculty in reputed institutions, and experts in the subject, should be persuaded to join the faculty at NALSAR. To ensure that the selectee has the required competence, applicants called for interview could be asked to hold a demonstration class, and a faculty seminar, prior to their being interviewed by the selection committee. The feedback obtained from students, and the existing faculty, could be taken into consideration by the selection committee before a final decision is taken on their appointment.

Faculty advances (page 90 and 91)

Tardy maintenance of accounts is best reflected by the fact that amounts given as advance, to the faculty members of NALSAR, have neither been recovered from them nor has the expenditure incurred, pursuant to the advance taken by them, accounted for. The total outstanding amount, given as advance to faculty members, as on 3.7.2011 is Rs.4,75,680-/

Curiously, the advance given to the erstwhile Vice-Chancellor and Registrars have still not been recovered, nor the expenditure incurred in relation to such advance accounted for, though they left” the services of NALSAR more than three years ago.

The advance given to Prof. Lakshminath, erstwhile Registrar of NALSAR, of Rs.25,5001/- on 15.7.2005 is still shown as outstanding. Likewise the advance given to Prof. Ranbir Singh (former Vice-Chancellor of NALSAR) of Rs.37,468-20; Prof. Ghanshyam Singh (former Registrar of NALSAR) of Rs.l8,629/- Ms. GOK Sandhya of Rs.20,000/-, Mls. Kalpana Kannabiran of Rs.4320/- etc., are still) shown as outstanding. Rs.7000/-, shown as outstanding") from Prof. M.Sreedharacharyulu, is for the advance taken by him in May and September 2006 nearly five years ago.

Distance learning? (page 94 and 95)

NALSAR offers a post-graduate degree in taxation and business laws in collaboration with the National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur. The memorandum of understanding between NADT, Nagpur and NALSAR requires the former to pay the latter Rs.10,000/- per student for the said post-graduate degree course. From out of this amount of Rs.l0,000/-, NALSAR is required to incur flight charges, and pay honorarium for those of its faculty members who take classes at NADT.

The post-graduate diploma courses offered m collaboration with ICADR, and the post-graduate degree course offered in collaboration with NADT Nagpur, is supervised by NALSAR-Pro. • While the services of Prof. K.V.S. Sarma, Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu and Prof. V.Balakista Reddy have been utilized for the lCADR courses, Prof. Veer Singh (Vice-Chancellor), Prof. M. Sridhar

Acharyulu, Prof. K.V.S. Sarma, Prof. Vijendra kumar, Prof. Vidyulatha Reddy, Prof. Shafi, Prof. P.B. Shankar Rao and Prof. Neha Pathakji have taken classes at NADT, Nagpur.

Distance learning institute (page 95 and 96)

NALSAR has also entered into a memorandum of understanding, with the Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM). NALSAR awards a post­ graduate degree in capital markets and financial services in collaboration with IIRM. The fees, for the said post­graduate degree course, is collected, and the accounts maintained, by NALSAR.

Prof. Veer Singh (Vice­ chancellor), Prof. K.V.S. Sarma, Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu and Prof. M. Vijendra Kumar have associated themselves with this venture.

NALSAR offers a Masters degree in Law of Financial Services and Capital M arkets (ML-FS & CM), a collaboration programme of NALSAR and IIRM. Prof. Veer Singh (Vice Chancellor) , Prof. K.V.S.Sarma (earlier the Registrar) and Dr.Vijender Kumar have received) honorarium from IIRM for conducting classes thereat.

During the year 2010-11 they received Rs.33000/-, Rs.26000/ - and Rs.12000 /- respectively as honorarium. They also received conveyance charges of Rs.2000/-, Rs.4500/- and Rs.2500/- each respectively. Prof. M.Sridhar Acharyulu received Rs.2986/- and Prof. V. Balakista Reddy received Rs.3690/- towards paper setting and evaluation charges from IlRM.

By his proceedings dated 18.8.2011, the Co-ordinator of IIRM informed this Committee that the degree/ diploma certificates issued to successful students, offered through the MoU between NALSAR and IIRM, may be awarded under the seal of NALSAR University with a mention made prominently, at an appropriate place, that the Degree/Diploma is being awarded in collaboration with IIRM. Section 22(1) of University Grants Commission Act stipulates that only a University can award degrees. While NALSAR can award a postgraduate degree, IIRM cannot. Showing their name in the Degree Certificate, let alone prominently, would be improper.

PGDip aviation JV (page 97 And 98)

NALSAR also offers a post-graduate diploma course in Aviation Law, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding entered into with the Institute of Applied Aviation Management (IAAM) on 01.12.2008. Financial information, both with regards IAAM's revenue and expenditure, is not forthcoming and all information concerning IAAM is shrouded in mystery. It is difficult to fathom why NALSAR should associate itself with a private institution whose antecedents and credibility are unknown. The collaboration MoU entered into by NALSAR with IAAM, in our view, needs reconsideration.

Waste of space (page 105)

Though the courses offered at NALSAR Pro are distance education courses and, except for a few contact classes, the entire programme is web based, the entire ground floor of a building at Hyderguda in Hyderabad has been taken on rent by NALSAR. For the office premises at Barkalpura, NALSAR did not have to pay rent. For the present city office located at 3-5-874/18, Hyderguda, three separate lease deeds dated 01.04.2010 were entered into for lease of the ground, first and second floors of the said premises.

One desk, either in the first or the second floor of the said building would have sufficed for collection of fees, and providing information to prospective students, since these two floors are occupied for courses offered in collaboration with IIRM. The distance education courses offered by NALSAR Pro can be conducted from NALSAR Shameer pet campus.

This would also have facilitated senior faculty members such as Prof. V.C. Vivekanandan and Prof M. Sridhar Acharyulu to function from the Shameerpet campus of NALSAR thereby enabling undergraduate and post-graduate students in the campus to have the benefit of their guidance on all week days instead of two days in a

week. (first and second Saturdays of each month being holidays). It would also enable NALSAR to cut down on wasteful expenditure being incurred towards monthly rent

Venom but no medics (page 126)

Unlike a military academy attempts to enforce strict discipline, of a similar kind, on students in a residential University is not warranted. Youngsters, just out of school, join the five year undergraduate course at NALSAR. These adolescents, some of whom may not even have attained majority, need delicate handling, and not strict policing.

Boy students have complained that, while there is a nurse in the Girl's Hostel, there is no trained paramedic residing in the Boys Hostel; there is no doctor on call; and the doctor, who is required to be available 3 hours a day six days a week, only visits the campus on certain days of the week for an hour or so.

The NALSAR campus, and the region around, is said to be snake infested. Students have complained that there are scorpions, besides varieties of insects, some of whose bites are dangerous. Students have also complained that the ambulance available at NALSAR is not well maintained; distilled water (without which the cylinder cannot be used) is not kept in the oxygen cylinder; and there have been numerous instances of the ambulance failing to respond promptly to emergency calls from the students. (Delays of even half an hour to forty minutes have been reported). We were informed that, as at present, students pool in to pay the hospital bills of the student hospitalized in an emergency and, at a later date, recover the amount from him/her.

No antivenom or other antidotes are stocked at the health centre located on the campus. A large student population, which includes students suffering from peculiar medical conditions, makes it important to have a well planned emergency system m place. NALSAR administration should examine whether an emergency response section can be facilitated in collaboration with Mediciti, or and any other hospital located at a proximate distance from NALSAR. The University should take immediate steps to fully equip the ambulance [...]

[Download full report here (docx file, 1.04MB), quality of scan variable but legible]

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