Monday, 15 February 2016

Minister to skip Niper silver jubilee event

 | TNN | Feb 15, 2016, 01.25 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Union minister of chemicals and fertilizers Ananth Kumar would not attend the silver jubilee celebrations of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Niper) in Mohali that officially kick off from Monday, a probable fallout of the recent CBI raids at the institute over the fund scam running into crores of rupees.

"The minister is busy in assembly elections and will not attend the function," said K K Bhutani, officiating director of the institute, who along with eight other officials was booked for allegedly siphoning of funds released by the central government for the establishment of intellectual property rights department and making inflated purchases. Polls in southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are likely to be held only in May, while elections in Karnataka --- the home state of the minister - are to take place in 2018. The minister was supposed to inaugurate the function.

The invitation cards of Niper - an institute of national importance that functions under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers --- had mentioned Kumar "has consented to be the chief guest and will flag off the silver jubilee celebrations." The list of invitees includes international and national experts from the pharmaceutical industry. Sources confirmed many participants from AIIMS and the Indian Council of Medical Education and Research have also pulled out from the celebrations following the raids.

A business meet related to the celebrations was held on Sunday but participation was likely to be limited to local experts.

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