KOTTAYAM: The Mahatma Gandhi University has landed in a row over the appointment of a scientist violating norms.
The university recruited P.N. Sunil Kumar as a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy scientist on contract for three years at the Institute of Integrated Programmes and Research in Basic Sciences (IIRBS) flouting rules, it is alleged.
Mr Kumar is allegedly a close relative of a personal staff member of local self-government minister A.C. Moideen. The creation of the post was to accommodate him, though his job is that of a technician, it is said. The appointment order was issued on April 17 this year.
The Kerala State Minority Commission has intervened in the matter and issued an order on March 16 based on the complaint of K.T. Zabeera, a qualified applicant and asked the higher education secretary to conduct a detailed inquiry, take appropriate action and report within a month of receiving its order.
The university had issued a notification last year setting qualifications for the technician as recommended by the IIRBS director and the syndicate cleared the post on April 13, 2018. As per the notification issued on June 6, the contract was for a year, the age limit 36 and the salary Rs 15,000 a month.
The qualifications included a first class masters in physics, chemistry or biology and experience in operating NMR machine for three years. An advertisement also came in a Malayalam newspaper. But on January 23 this year, it notified yet another post – NMR scientist-cum-analyst - relaxing the upper age limit and appointed Mr Kumar for three years on a salary of Rs 50,000. It also changed the qualification and experience clauses to suit him.
“He was appointed for three months without prior notification (when there was an active notification). After the completion of three months, the university advertised again setting the qualification suitable to his candidature and finally he was appointed for three years. The first notification was never processed,” said sources.
The qualification was an MSc in chemistry with a PhD in NMR spectroscopy/structural chemistry/biophysics/structural biology and a minimum of five years of post-doctoral experience in NMR spectroscopy. “The issuance of the new notification while a previous one is in existence is a violation," Ms Zabeera said....