New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development is looking into allegations that the appointment of the vice-chancellor for Motihari-based Mahatma Gandhi Central University (MGCU) was based on a “manipulated” vigilance clearance, ThePrint has learnt.
Sanjeev Sharma, who was appointed vice-chancellor of the central government university in April 2019 when Prakash Javadekar was the Union HRD minister, allegedly faced complaints of fudging documents for a promotion, as well as sexual harassment at Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCSU), Meerut, where he worked earlier, but still received a vigilance clearance.
A senior official in the ministry, who deals with central universities, confirmed that they had received a complaint against Sharma, adding they had written to MGCU as well as CCSU for further details.
“We have written to both the universities for their comments on the complaint. We will wait for their reply to decide the further course of action,” said the officer.
ThePrint approached Sharma for comment through calls and text messages but they remained unanswered until the time of publishing.
Sharma is the second consecutive V-C of MGCU, established just four years ago in 2016, to come under the government’s scanner. His predecessor Arvind Agarwal was accused of lying about his education and subsequently sacked by the government.
The ministry went ahead with Sharma’s appointment on the basis of a vigilance clearance issued by CCSU, where he worked between 2007 and February 2019.
However, according to the complaint sent to the HRD ministry, a copy of which has been accessed by ThePrint, the vigilance clearance granted to Sharma by CCSU was “manipulated”.
Dated 28 January, the letter alleged that Sharma received the clearance despite pending complaints of sexual harassment and fudging documents for a promotion.
The complainant claimed Sharma was unduly promoted as professor in CCSU without having completed the mandated eight years as reader. The University Grants Commission (UGC) is said to have written to CCSU in 2008 in this regard, clearly stating that Sharma should not be promoted as professor. The missive was attached to the complaint letter.
Sharma, the letter stated, fudged documents to show he had completed eight years as reader, an academic rank.
In addition to that, the post to which he was appointed is said to have been reserved for an OBC candidate. The copy of an RTI reply from CCSU was attached to the complaint letter to back the claim.
The letter also talked about a purported complaint of sexual harassment against Sharma. A colleague in CCSU allegedly accused Sharma of sexual harassment in 2008, saying he had sought “undue favours” at work.