No influence behind BRUR probe report: UGC07 March 2021
Staff Reporter :
The University Grant Commission (UGC), an autonomous body to supervise the country's higher education, said in an official statement on Saturday that there was no influence of anyone behind the Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur (BRUR)'s irregularities probe report.
UGC also said their investigation into the allegation of massive irregularities in implementation of special development project of BRUR was unbiased.
"The commission unequivocally wants to say that the investigation into the allegations of irregularities in the special development project of BRUR has been finished completely independently and without any influence," said the official statement signed by UGC Public Relations Director Dr Shamsul Arefin.
It also reiterated that there no chance of the Education Minister or anyone else to influence at any stage of the investigation.
The statement also condemned the comments of BRUR VC Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah. "His remarks about the Education Minister and the inquiry committee are unwelcome and undesirable. This is by no means expected from a person holding a responsible position like the Vice-Chancellor."
Earlier on 4 March, BRUR VC held a press briefing in the capital and rejected the UGC probe report that had found several irregularities against him. He also blamed the education ministry for interfering in the investigation process. The ministry instantly ruled out the allegation, saying that the UGC is an autonomous body and there is no scope for the education minister as well as the ministry to interfere in its investigation process.
Rejecting the probe report, VC Kalimullah said, "I reject the UGC report. It is prepared after being motivated by Education Minister Dipu Moni. So I think it was not desirable from her as the education minister."
He also claimed that he was a victim of local politics of Chandpur district.
"UGC member Muhammad Alamgir, who led the investigation team, is from Chandpur and served the minister's agenda by making me a scapegoat for the corruption done by the previous VC," he said.
He also questioned the integrity of UGC, claiming, "I work for 20-22 hours daily for the university, and take rest for only 2/3 hours."
The UGC probe committee had reportedly found the involvement of Professor Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah in multiple irregularities in the construction of Sheikh Hasina Hall and Dr Wazed Research and Training Institute on the university campus.
Meanwhile, the UGC has decided to conduct further investigation into other allegations raised against the vice chancellor.
Higher-ups of UGC in Dhaka have already formed a body, although identities of all its members and convener could not be known immediately. However, Md Jamal Uddin, senior assistant secretary of UGC's administration department, is the body's member secretary.
The committee members are likely to visit the campus on March 14.
According to campus sources, seven BRUR teachers filed complaints with the education ministry in 2019, bringing various allegations against the vice chancellor, including irregularities, anomalies and corruption.
The seven are Gazi Majharul Anwar of physics department; HM Tariqul Islam, associate professor of chemistry department; Khairul Kabir, associate professor of finance and banking department; Mosiur Rahman and Komolesh Chandra Roy, associate professors of mathematics department, Sabbir Ahmed, assistant professor of public administration department; and Belal Uddin, assistant professor of economics department.
All seven got separate letters from UGC on Wednesday, where it was requested for their cooperation during the body's visit, providing all relevant documents centring the allegations.
Among the 45 allegations, the VC's frequent absence at campus; corruption, anomalies and violating UGC's guidelines centring workforce recruitment; discrimination in promoting officials; unauthorised occupation of several administrative posts; and irregularities in purchases are some notable ones.