In its admission to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Government of India said that the director of IIM-Rohtak, Dheeraj Sharma was appointed despite him not meeting the minimum educational criteria.
Sharma has already completed his tenure of five years and has been given a second term.
As per a report by The Indian Express, the Ministry of Education filed an affidavit in the court, stating that Sharma was made the head of IIM-Rohtak, despite securing second-division in his under graduation.
To be eligible for the role, a first-class Bachelor’s degree is required. The Ministry sent him three letters asking for his undergraduate degree, last year, which he did not submit.
The institute’s Board of Governors (BoG) reappointed Sharma for a second term under the IIM Act. The law which came into effect in 2018, gives powers to all 20 business schools, including the appointment of directors, chairpersons and Board members.
Prior to this, the appointment of an IIM director was done with the approval of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by the Prime Minister. Last year, the MoE urged the Court to dismiss the plea of Sharma’s ineligibility saying that none of the applicants for the job had challenged his appointment. Earlier, the ministry also said that the appointment followed procedure and is “liable to be upheld.”
In the latest affidavit, which comes after having received his documents, the MoE said, “It may be seen that Dr Dheeraj Sharma has secured Second Division in the Bachelor’s degree, as against the requirement of First Class Degree as per the Advertisement, and as such does not fulfil the eligibility criteria as laid down in the advertisement for the post of Director, IIM Rohtak.” In the same affidavit, the ministry added that they are enquiring about his appointment and will fix responsibility.
“Yes, the Ministry’s representative objected (to Sharma’s reappointment), but the Board didn’t accept it for two reasons. The first term was cleared by the (union)
government and the Board had nothing to do with it (since this was before the IIM Act was passed). Second, the Ministry has been defending his appointment all along (in court) and is only contradicting itself now. This information (about the alleged invalidity of the first appointment) was sprung on the Board last minute,” said a BoG member who did not wish to be identified.
When the IIM-Rohtak Board advertised for the role, they did not mention any minimum qualification criteria with regard to the candidate’s Bachelor’s degree. But in 2017, when Sharma was first appointed, the government had stipulated that a first division in undergraduate studies was imperative.
Courtesy : Deccan Herald