The Tamil Nadu government has constituted a special committee to investigate allegations of corruption against Anna University Vice-Chancellor MK Surappa. The government said that it had received several complaints against Surappa, including allegations that he and Deputy Director (CCC) Sakthinathan "collected Rs 80 crore in bribes by taking Rs 13 lakh to Rs 15 lakh per candidate for recruitment of temporary teaching fellows of the constituent colleges and Anna University main campus."
The state government said that Justice P Kalaiyarasan, retired judge of the Madras High Court, will act as inquiry officer of the committee, which will look into temporary appointments and other recruitments made in the university during Surappa's tenure besides looking into allegations of a scam in Anna University's Career Advancement Scheme (CAS).
The committee will also look at contracts and agreements entered into by the university during Surappa's tenure besides checking for any lapse or abuse of official position on the part of any person connected with the university. If any allegations were proved to be true, the committee is also tasked with "suggesting suitable ways and means to prevent such recurrences in the future."
Surappa was also accused of mailing wrong information to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) that the final year students passed, without conducting an examination. The government said that a petition it received, also alleged that Surappa "appointed his daughter in Anna University by misusing the powers vested with him," besides alleging that there was a scam in purchase of machineries and complaints of financial irregularities and malpractices in semester examination and re-evaluation.
Responding to the development, Surappa told the media that he was "surprised and shocked."
Surappa had earlier been embroiled in a controversy regarding Anna University’s Institute of Eminence (IoE) tag, after he wrote a letter to the Union government, and sought expedition of the tag. Though the tag comes with a Rs 1,000-crore grant, Surappa said that the university was capable of generating Rs 1,570 crore in five years through internal means and did not need aid from the state government.
This was opposed by many, who saw it as an attempt by the Union government to “hijack the university." In October, DMK President MK Stalin demanded that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami recommend the immediate dismissal of Surappa.
With IANS inputs