Bihar education minister resigns over corruption taint

Bihar education minister resigns over corruption taint

November 19, 2020

Bihar education minister Mewa Lal Chaudhary, who sworn in as a member of the Nitish Kumar cabinet a few days ago, was forced to resign over allegations of irregularities in the selection of faculty members, while he was the Vice-Chancellor of Bihar Agriculture University between 2010 to 2015.

He was allocated as the new education minister on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 and a day after taking the oath, he sent his resignation immediately after assuming charge at 1 pm, as per sources.

Chadhaury was elected as the Tarapur MLA, served as the Vice-Chancellor of Bihar Agricultural University for half a decade. 

He was suspended from the party in February 2017, over allegations of massive irregularities in the hiring of faculty at the varsity he headed. 

He told The Quint, “These are all useless, [sic.] have no meaning and are completed fabricated and manipulated by political people who have nothing to do with the development of Bihar or its education space.”

Bihar Agriculture University, an autonomous institution under the Bihar government, was established in Sabour of Bihar’s Bhagalpur district in the year 2010.

A year after his appointment, the university published advertisements inviting applications for the post of 281 Assistant Professors-cum-Junior Scientists. Only 161 vacancies were filled and the varsity’s Chancellor, the then Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, received complaints that candidates who secured low marks in academics were given higher marks in the interview and presentation process while candidates with strong academic performance were given low marks in interviews.

Based on these complaints, the Chancellor formed an inquiry committee under Justice (retd.) Syed Mohammad Mahfooz Alam in 2015, which found the allegations to be true.

However, Choudhary pointed out that so far no charge sheet has been filed against him and that everything is presently under investigation. According to The Indian Express, Sujit Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, said that till date the charge sheet has been filed against two people in the case, which does not include Choudhary. He also said that investigations are on and that a supplementary charge sheet could be filed later if required.

Source: PTI

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