CBI raids cast shadow on NIPER function, as Union minister, secy stay away
Bhutani, who was grilled by the CBI on Friday and Saturday, had said that the minister would attend the function but neither the minister nor the secretary of the department turned up for the function.
NIPER students to take protest to New Delhi
Wednesday, April, 24 2013 - 13:31
MOHALI: Adamant on their demand of resignation of Professor KK Bhutani from the post of officiating director of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), the institute’s students on Tuesday commenced a hunger strike and have decided to carry out a protest march in New Delhi outside the offices of Union ministry of chemicals and fertilizers if peace talks with the Board of Governors and NIPER management ended in failure.
However, acting director of the institute Sharanjeet Singh remained absent after he told the protesting students that he will not enter the institute. The officiating director of NIPER, KK Bhutani also has taken leave citing health problems.
Meanwhile, students have started hunger strike as the talks between the management and the students failed on Tuesday. One student, Onkar Desh Pandey, was also taken to hospital on Tuesday after he fell ill during the hunger strike. The representatives of the students also said that they have decided to protest outside the offices of Chemical and Fertilizers ministry if the management and Board of Governors (BoG) fail to accept their demands.
Three hours of negotiations on Tuesday between management and the students yielded no results and students said that they would not call off their strike until the officiating director of NIPER resigned from the post with immediate effect.
800 National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research students on indefinite protest again
Take call on NIPER contract system, HC tells Centre
Express news service : Chandigarh, The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday directed the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers to take a final decision on abolishing the contract system of appointment in the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali within four months.
The directions came from the High Court on a petition filed by the NIPER Research Employees Welfare Association, Mohali. The Association apprised the HC that despite three resolutions by the Board of Governors of NIPER for abolishing the contract system, the government was yet to take a final decision on the matter.
TNN | Dec 5, 2012, 03.03 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court has set aside the appointment of RJP Singh Waraich as the registrar of Mohali-based National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER).
Justice Rajesh Bindal has passed these orders while allowing a petition filed by Dr Parikshit Bansal.
Coming down heavily on the selection committee, the bench said, "There was no experience certificate produced on record by the respondent even till the date of interview. The selection was being made to the post of responsibility. Casualness in the process could not be expected, as is evident from the case in hand".
Terming the appointment as without application of mind by the selections committee, in its 24-page judgment, the HC also held that the appointing authority in the present case was misled, while considering the entire service career of 23 years of Waraich as relevant experience and awarded the marks accordingly, whereas in the written statement before the court, it stated that he was having 16 years of experience on a gazetted post.
Petitioner in this case had argued that Waraich did not fulfill the criteria, and his selection was a result of favoritism. It was also contended that there were other meritorious candidates fulfilling the requisite qualifications and even better qualified, but still were ignored.
NIPER had issued advertisement for the post of Registrar in 2011, following that several candidates had applied for it. After considering the eligibility of the applicants, the interview was held and finally RJP Singh Waraich was selected.
NIPER 100 crore scam - Dainik Bhasker(Mohali) 1 Sep 2012
Notice to CBI in multi Crore Scam at NIPER
CWP No. 14537 of 2012, under Articles 226 / 227 of Constitution of India is filled for issuance of a writ of Mandamus or any other writ order or direction, directing the C.B.I. to conduct a detailed and thorough investigation into the financial irregularities and lapses which have taken place at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), as the CVC on the complaint of the petitioner has failed to hold an inquiry into the matter and thus failed to perform its mandatory duties.
TO GO HERE OR NOT?
19 Jul 2012 HT Mohali Live Swati Thakur
National Institute of Pharmaceutica Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, established by the Act of Parliament under the aegis of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India is organising ‘Joint Counselling’ from July 17-19. This ‘ Joint Counselling’ is for admission to Masters Programme M.S. (Pharm.), M.Pharm., M. Tech (Pharm.), for all seven NIPERs, situated at Guwahati, Hajipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Rai Bareilly, Ahmedabad and S.A.S. Nagar.
While this is an opportunity to tap on, some students are apprehensive since NIPER, Mohali was in the news for all the wrong reasons a few months back. The then officiating director, KK Bhutani had been allegedly charged for nepotism & corruption. While the case has ever since been in the court, the next hearing is due on July 23.
In the case, PJP Singh Waraich had reportedly given KK Bhutani a sum of R20 lakh for his appointment as the Registrar. A NIPER staff, who does not want to be named said, “Bhutani had extracted R20 lakh from Waraich and had interviewed him in May. Waraich had then been appointed despite the fact that Waraich did not meet the requisite qualifications of eligibility for the post of Registrar at NIPER, Mohali.”
However, Waraich’s appointment is still pending as the court is yet to decide if the allegations are true. The High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh is supervising the act of the officiating director which amounts to ‘denial of opportunity to genuinely deserving candidates besides leading to nepotism.’
“Such conduct is quite shocking for us since we have been a part of the management for a long time now. The management is expected to be the guiding light for students, but with such conduct what are we really teaching our students here, it’s like setting up an abhorrent example before our students,” added the staffer.
Babus keep MPs away from ‘tainted’ NIPER board
By Dinesh C. Sharma in New Delhi
IT APPEARS bureaucrats in the department of pharmaceuticals ( DoP), under the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers, are more powerful than the country’s Parliament.
They can simply disregard orders of the Lok Sabha Speaker as well as chairman of Rajya Sabha.
This is what the bureaucracy has done while constituting the board of governors of the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research ( NIPER) in Mohali.
The NIPER Act stipulates inclusion of three members of Parliament — two from Lok Sabha and one from Rajya Sabha — but DoP decided to constitute the Board without public representatives despite nominations received from the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman.
According to information available on Parliament website, three MPs — Paramjit Kaur Gulshan ( Akali Dal) Dr G. Vivekanand ( Congress) and Dr V. Maitreyan ( AIADMK) — were nominated to the Board of NIPER by respective presiding officers of the two houses. But the three names did not figure in the new Board notified by DoP in June 2011.
This violates the law governing NIPER. Documents obtained under RTI show that it is not a case of simple oversight but a deliberate act to keep away MPs and public figures from the decision making body of the NIPER, which has been facing a barrage of charges relating to financial irregularities and corruption. The issue of financial bungling in the institute was raised in the Parliament following expose by MAIL TODAY in March 2012.
Internal papers relating to the appointment of the new Board in June 2011 reveal that it was the DoP which requested the two presiding officers to nominate MPs as required under the NIPER Act. But when the nominations were received, senior officials sought to create confusion that the office of the governor of NIPER was an ‘ office of profit’ because members of the board are paid a ‘ sitting fee’ of ` 1,000 whenever they attend the board meeting.
A director level official pointed to the amendment carried out in August 2006 to Parliament ( Prevention of Disqualification) Act 1959, which clearly states that “ if any MP holds the office of chairman, director or member of any statutory nonstatutory body and is not in receipt of any remuneration other than compensatory allowance “ he or she shall not disqualify from being an MP. The officer suggested that ` 1,000 fee could be treated as compensatory allowance and not ‘ sitting fee’. But his advice was overlooked and a notification was issued dropping the names of three MPs from the Board.
The NIPER Act also provides for making eminent public persons or social workers members of the board. Several names, including that of environmentalist Vandana Shiva, were proposed but none were included in the final list.
The institute has been functioning without a full- time director since December 2009 when the then director had to leave under adverse circumstances.
Not just this, DoP also delayed constitution of a new board.
The present board, chaired by Dr V. M. Katoch, has not been responding to charges of corruption and mismanagement raised by institute faculty and some board members.
More see http://www.nature.com/nindia/2012/120515/full/nindia.2012.74.html
Corruption and misdeeds at pharma institute
The ministry of chemicals and fertilisers has asked the board of governors of the Mohali-based National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) to explain financial irregularities and allegations of corruption in running of the institute.
The ministry, which is the parent body for the institute, says it is up to the board of governors to deal with the allegations of corruption and financial misdeeds.
'A report from the board is being sought,' minister for chemicals and fertiliser Srikant Jena told the Rajya Sabha last week.
Mail Today had exposed the irregularities in the institute on March 13. Jena said under the NIPER Act, it is the board's responsibility 'to manage and regulate finances, accounts, investments, property business and all other administrative affairs'.
The board is currently headed by Dr V.M. Katoch, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Despite possessing all necessary powers under the Act, sources said, the board has failed to take any action on the complaints about corruption and financial irregularities.
Jena also said the department of pharmaceuticals has proposed a plan of Rs1,375 crore for the institute during the 12th plan period.
The test audit of the institute's account have revealed that huge amounts of grants have either been lying unutlised or have been diverted for other purposes.
The auditors have termed the fund as 'purposeless' as no purpose has been stated.
Mail Today, New Delhi, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
As dozens of colleges struggle due lack of funds, the NIPER remains flush with no idea on how it should spend
Many higher education institutions in the country may be suffering due to lack of adequate funding, but National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), located in Mohali, faces no such problem. On the contrary, it is flush with money and does not know what to do.
The institute has the dubious distinction of building up a huge endowment fund from generous grants it has been receiving from its parent ministry - chemicals and fertilizers - as well as other wings of the government since it was set in 1998.
The endowment fund, which was in excess of Rs 25 crore at the end of financial year 2009- 2010, has been termed 'purposeless' by auditors of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in sample audits conducted in the past four years.
The size of the fund has something to do with inefficiency of the institute. For example, Rs 38.75 crore was received as grant-in-aid during 2007-08, but only Rs 29.60 crore was utilised leaving the balance of Rs 9.15 crore unutilised. Despite not being able to use funds properly, the institute could get `51.46 crore as grants during 2008-09.
Of this also Rs 4.4 crore remained unutilised. The audit findings have been shared with the ministry of chemicals and fertilizers but no corrective action has been taken. On the other hand, whistleblowers are being victimised.
'If these are the findings of test audits, one can imagine what would come out when CAG conducts full audit of the institute', commented a senior expert associated with the institute. Ironically, the institute cites guidelines which were issued prior to its setting up in 1998.
As per these guidelines, 'savings and undesignated finds will be treated as corpus and interest accruing and other income from the asset will be used normally for development, and if necessary, for operational expenses'. However, CAG auditors have rejected this explanation saying the guidelines were issued before the NIPER Act was implemented in 1998.
According to the Act, funds can be set up only for some specified purposes. But the endowment fund being run by the institute has no stated purpose. The institute authorities are keeping the money as fixed deposits in banks. Even in this exercise, serious irregularities have been noticed in the audit reports accessed under the RTI Act.
In the absence of any mechanism to oversee its investments, the institute suffered 'an avoidable loss of interest worth Rs 49.56 lakh' during 2009-2010, according to the audit report.
NIPER authorities told auditors that since providing education is not a commercial activity 'the institute needs to raise its resources only to the extent of improving infrastructure'.
The auditors have rejected this explanation saying neither any purpose of the fund has been stated nor have rules been framed for administration of this fund. This issue has also never been taken up with the ministry.
NIPER acting director Dr K.K. Bhutani acknowledged emails from Mail Today but did not respond to specific questions.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2114190/As-dozens-colleges-struggle-lack-funds-NIPER-remains-flush-idea-spend.html#ixzz1oxfavBzw
NIPER scientist demands quashing of appointment of Registrar, PJP Singh Waraich
|Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai|
Monday, November 14, 2011, 08:00 Hrs [IST]
A senior scientist at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali has demanded to quash the appointment of Registrar, Wing Cdr PJP Singh Waraich (Retd), for his “misconduct, serious violations of NIPER act, statutes, CCS (CCA) rules and supporting officiating director in his vengeance act”.
In a letter to Dr V M Katoch, chairman of the Board of Governors at NIPER, Nilanjan Roy PhD, Omics & Computational Biology Laboratory, has alleged that Waraich does not meet the requisite qualifications of eligibility for the post of Registrar at NIPER, Mohali. Officiating Director made his selection deliberately, though officiating Director was not competent authority to approve the appointment of registrar. This act of officiating Director amounts to ‘denial of opportunity’ to genuinely deserving candidates besides leading to ‘nepotism’.
For the post of the registrar, many candidates, who were qualifying the required criteria applied, including acting registrar of NIPER. It is pertinent to mention that officiating director did not call the acting registrar, NIPER for the interview, the letter said and continued to compare the bio data of Dr Shyam Narayan, Dy Registrar IIT Roorkee who attended the interview, with that of Waraich.
As a result, the new Registrar rather than acting in a fair, unbiased and professional manner has repeatedly violated NIPER statutes and failed to meet the professional standards of NIPER.
Enumerating such acts, Roy said that he had applied for extramural funding from ICMR via a concept note which is duly vetted by an expert committee and cleared for submission of a detailed proposal. When he intimated the same to officiating Director NIPER, he wrote a mail to Registrar for clarification of rule position and copied to the Officer of ICMR with a clear intention to tarnish his reputation in funding agency.
“Thus the action of Registrar is causing irreparable harm to my professional career as scientist of international repute. I pray for quashing appointment of Wing Cdr PJP Singh Waraich (Retd.)”, the letter said.
NIPER prof denied prestigious fellowship on plagiarism charges
Rajni Shaleen Chopra Posted online: Wed Jun 08 2011, 02:55 hrs
Chandigarh : The Ministry of Science and Technology has denied a fellowship to Prof U C Banerjee, one of the senior-most faculty members of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Mohali, due to charges of plagiarism levelled against him.
Recently, Banerjee was chosen for the Tata Innovation Fellowship 2011 that is granted by the Department of Biotechnology.
But the ministry decided to hold back the fellowship after it came to its notice that charges of plagiarism were established against Banerjee by an inquiry committee constituted by NIPER’s Board of Governors in April 2009.
The fellowship, ranked very high in scientific circles, comes with a remuneration of Rs 20,000 per month and a contingency grant of Rs 5 lakh per year.
“This competitive fellowship is to recognise scientists with an outstanding track record...(and) reward interdisciplinary work of high quality with emphasis on translation and innovation,” according to the biotechnology department.
The decision not to grant the fellowship was known after the Department of Biotechnology sent its response to a RTIquery on it.
Arun Kumar Rawat, Principal Scientific Officer at DBT, said in reply to the query that if it comes to the notice of the department at any stage that the research is plagiarised, “the department takes necessary steps to confirm the plagiarism by setting up an independent committee of experts to look into the matter. Action can be taken if the allegation is found to be true.”
The charges of plagiarism against Banerjee were levelled by Dr Animesh Roy, a scientist working in the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology (Biotechnology). Banerjee was his head of the department.
Following the charges, Roy’s contract was not renewed by NIPER on completion of his five-year term and he complained to the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors conducted an inquiry and the scientists consulted for the investigation found it to be “a clear case of plagiarism by Prof UC Banerjee”, the report said.
The inquiry report states, “It is clear that the Director NIPER or the NIPER administration failed in performing their duties...It is also clear that the Director was all out to protect the misdeeds and unethical acts of Prof UC Banerjee for reasons best known to him, and that too when both the chairman of the BOG and the BOG were of the opinion to initiate action against Prof Banerjee.”
The inquiry committee said Roy’s services should be reinstated “retrospectively with all consequential benefits”. It also said NIPER should initiate action against Banerjee. But despite all these neither has Roy being reinstated nor action being taken against Banerjee.