AICTE committee probes into death of engineering faculty member

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | A RAGU RAMAN
Published Jan 9, 2019, 5:41 am IST
Updated Jan 9, 2019, 5:41 am IST
The PMO has forwarded the complaint to AICTE for further action.
All-India Council of Technical Education
 All-India Council of Technical Education

Chennai: A three-member committee from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) conducted an inquiry into the suicide of an engineering faculty member and harassment faced by him at Sree Sastha Institute of Engineering and Technology near Chennai on Tuesday.

Before heading to the college, the team also enquired about the circumstances leading to the suicide with the parents of T.Vasantha Vanan who took his own life after failing to retrieve his original certificates from the college.

 

The 30-year-old lecturer, a gold medalist from CEG and faculty of MIT,  committed suicide on November 12, after his previous employer, Sree Sastha Institute of Engineering and Technology, refused to hand his original certificates and harassed him when asked for the same.

"We have received a complaint regarding the suicide of Vasantha Vanan. A three-member team headed formed by the AICTE has conducted the inquiry with the parents of the deceased and college authorities," officials from AICTE told this paper.

"Based on the report from the committee, the technical education council will take action on this issue. We don’t want to disclose any further details with the pending inquiry," they added.

After deposing before the committee, Vasantha Vanan’s mother and retired government employee T.Vasantha said, "We lost our only son due to the harassment by the college management. We pleaded with the officials to not to let happen to any other faculty member in the country."

"He was a very sensitive boy. He could not bear the humiliation and harassment meted out to him by the college," she said.

Meanwhile, the relatives of the Vasantha Vanan alleged that the college management has tried to influence the parents before inquiry.

"Fearing their personal safety, the parents asked the council to shift the venue from the college. Then the officials conducted an inquiry at AICTE’s southern regional office," they said.

In his complaint to the Prime Minister’s office, K.M. Karthik, president of Private Educational Institutions Employees Association, demanded the justice for the death of Vasantha Vanan and urged the PMO to take action against college management under section 306 of IPC for abetment of suicide besides dissolving the educational trust of the college.

The PMO has forwarded the complaint to AICTE for further action.

"We welcome the action of AICTE on our complaint. But, as the affiliating university, Anna University should initiate its own inquiry against the college and take action based on its findings," Karthik told this paper.

Since AICTE has received several complaints regarding the withholding of certificates from faculty members, it also introduced a penal action in its approval process handbook for 2019-20.

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