Madhya Pradesh: Of wine, foreign jaunts and journalism

Probe panel found Bhopal journalism university VC splurging on exotic wines, sponsoring his wife’s foreign trip even as he propagated RSS ideology by changing syllabus and curriculum

Madhya Pradesh: Of wine, foreign jaunts and journalism

Kashif Kakvi

Former vice chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication (MCNUJC) Brij Kishore Kuthiyalaused university funds to buy expensive imported wine and sponsored his wife’s foreign trip during his six-year tenure between 2012 to 2018 , reveals the report of a high-powered three-member inquiry committee headed by MP’s additional chief secretary Gopal Reddy.

The inquiry committee was constituted by the Congress government following allegation that the university was promoting a particular ideology in its syllabus, academic activities even while there was large-scale misappropriation of funds and corruption in recruitment and opening up of new centres.

The 40-page report reveals that former VC of MCNUJC, Brij Kishore Kuthiyala used university funds to buy imported red wine which costs between Rs 3,000 and 5,000 a bottle. The report claimed that VC bought hundreds of bottles during his tenure spending lakhs of rupees on wine.

Besides, Kuthiyala sponsored his wife’s London trip on university funds. Later, however,he repaid the bills after university officials protested. BK Kuthiyala was the VC of the university from December 2012 to December 2018.

Confirming the finding of the probe panel, Bhupendra Gupta, one of the members of the committee said, “We have found massive irregularities in funds, corruption in recruitment and opening of new centres by flouting university rules.”

The probe panel submitted its report to the Chief Secretary, public relation last Friday.

Reacting on the report, students claimed that basic facilities like computer labs, studios, benches have been missing from the university.

"While the university has lost its studio, computer labs, computers and even books from the library, the VC was spending on expensive wine. It is shameful," said final year student of Mass Communication Sulabh Tiwari (name changed).

The vice chancellor had also recruited a person only to read Pakistani newspapers and report to him on a daily basis,The probe panel objected to his pointing out that there was no need to monitor Pakistani newspapers by the university, as it was the task of central government agencies.

The probe also found that over two dozen recruitments were done by the vice chancellor since 2003 flouting all norms and rules of the university to provide jobs of persons associated with the RSS.

The probe committee also found irregularities in opening new centres. The report reveals that the director of study centres, Deepak Sharma permitted to open 600 centres between 2016 to 2018 to benefit the BJP and RSS workers.

In Bhopal alone, there are 109 study centres while according to university rules, a centre can be openedonly in areawhere the population is over 25,000. New centres were running in two-three room premises.

Recently, the university decided to shut its three centres in Gwalior and Barwani.

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Published: 05 Mar 2019, 9:15 AM