The authorities at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research handed over the institute’s laboratory to foreign pharma company Systems Biology Worldwide in 2006 triggering a controversy over misuse of public resources.
“The laboratory was set up by spending Rs 1 crore and was rented out to Systems Biology Worldwide for just Rs 20 lakh per annum. Interestingly, half of the rent amount was paid to the advisors as consultancy,” Nilanjan Roy, who is a former associate professor and member of NIPER’s Purchase Committee, told Mail Today.
Lalit Jain, who is a former member of NIPER’s Board of Governors, said some precious instruments were found missing from the lab after it was handed over to the company.
Not only did the institute appoint two former Ranbaxy bosses but also handed over a major department to them.
The Technology Development Centre, which was set up to train students and offer resources to small-scale entrepreneurs, was handed over to Ranbaxy between 2004 and 2010 for a monthly rental of Rs 16 lakh.
However, the operational cost of this centre is nearly Rs 25 lakh per month.
NIPER officiating director K.K. Bhutani is accused of running the department despite attaining the age of superannuation in 2013.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had issued a notice to Bhutani in June on the basis of a petition filed by Dr Parikshit Bansal.
“For the last 15 years, all NIPER faculty members were being issued letters of appointment in which the retirement age was indicated as 62 years. "As a member of the board of governors, Bhutani increased the retirement age from 62 to 65 years just a month before he was due to retire in 2013. "Under the NIPER Act and statutes, any change in provisions needs the President’s assent besides the approval of both the Houses,” Dinesh Rawat, who is arguing the case on behalf of Dr Parikshit Bansal, told Mail Today.
The extension of retirement age was neither approved by the Petroleum Ministry nor the President as revealed by the RTI reply, Rawat added.
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