SANDEEP PANDEY RESPONSE TO VICE-CHANCELLOR, BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY
By Sandeep Pandey
The Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Prof. G.C. Tripathi, has asked me through the Director, Indian Institute of Technology, BHU, Prof. Rajeev Sangal in the background of controversy over premature termination of my visiting faculty contract in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, by a meeting of the Board of Governors of IIT, BHU, why I’m raising the issue at the level of University when the matter pertains to only IIT on campus, why I’m making personal allegations against him and why a judicial enquiry should not be set up in this matter?
I wish to state that even though Prof. Tripathi, who was made the chairman of BoG, IIT-BHU by Minister of Human Resources Development, Government of India, bypassing the panel of five names recommended by a resolution of BoG, brought up my issue under ‘any other matter’ on agenda not as VC, BHU but as chairman, BoG, the irregularities going on in BHU in terms of regular appointments of unqualified people associated with Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh as facutly members and admission of undeserving students associated with Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad are so serious, of which my termination is only one outrageous decision in the series, that I’m afraid by the time Prof. Tripathi leaves BHU or the NDA government departs from Delhi, irreparable damage would have been caused to BHU. The academic quality of BHU and other academic institutions, FTII being just one other example, is being seriously compromised under the NDA regime. By acting against me based on a single complaint by Avinash Pandey, 2nd year M.A. student of Department of Political Sciences, BHU, who too is associated with RSS, and not that of any IIT student(s) who attended one of my classes, the VC has made it a University level issue and not me. Avinash Pandey has alleged that ‘There is no requirement of taking attendance, classes and examination in Development Studies course run by Dr. Sandeep Pandey and students get A grade without any examination.’ In response I’ve to say that I’ve conducted all my classes, which may be verified. I had taken permission from the Director, IIT-BHU for getting the requirement of attendance and examination waived. I’ve used one-to-one interactive non-competitive method of evaluation not for the first time at IIT-BHU but earlier at IIT Gandhinagar and IIT Kanpur as well. I was invited to the Salizburg Global Seminar, ‘Untapped Talent: Can better testing and data accelerate creativity in learning and societies?,’ Salzburg, Austria from 12 to 17 December, 2015, which was sponsored by Educational Testing Service, Princeton, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington D.C., National Science Foundation of US, and Royal Society of Arts, London, to make a presentation on my evaluation method, only days before decision was taken in BHU to terminate my contract. The students who complete all their assigned work only get A grades in my class, rest get lower grades, which may also be verified from my grading three times when I’ve taught the Development Studies course.
Since it was the VC who has brought up my issue in the BoG, he is guilty of tarnishing my image by claiming that I’m a naxalite and am involved in anti-national activities, now making it difficult for me to teach anywhere in the country. Oblivious of my academic performance he has decided to proceed against me completely on non-academic considerations. It is interesting that he is troubled by the allegations that he has not conducted a class at Allahabad University for many years nor has any publication in his name, making his appointment to the prestigious position of VC questionable. The only difference is that he is accusing me of false non-academic things and I’m raising questions about his academic capability.
The people who are speaking in my favour too are demanding an enquiry into the serious charges levelled against me. The BoG has taken a decision against me based on rumors floated and sustained by Sangh Parivar for past many years without getting any enquiry conducted and giving me chance to clarify my position. Principle of natural justice requires that charges be proved before a punitive action is taken. Here the VC and his RSS accomplice Prof. Dhananjay Pandey, Dean of Faculty Affairs at IIT-BHU, who rejected my application for reimbursement of visa fee for attending the Salzburg Global Seminar, have forced the punishment based on hearsay. The only concrete charge of posting on BHU intranet the Nirbhaya documentary, banned by the Government, falling under cyber crime is not a serious charge as the film was never screened publicly. It was there on ‘YouTube’ for anybody to watch. The subject of the film is violence against women. The alacrity shown by the University authorities in preventing the screening of this film was missing when enquiry was conducted against a Professor of Management Studies after a complaint filed against him by a female student of the same department accusing him of sexual misconduct last year. The Professor’s suspension is likely to be revoked as the University Complaints Committee has not found him guilty even though the female student has filed a FIR and the Professor is facing a judicial trial.
I too want a judicial enquiry and would like the VC to resign if the allegations against me are proved false.