Former President Pranab Mukherjee quashed IIT Kharagpur’s penalty on Prof Rajeev Kumar

Rajeev Kumar, a professor of IIT Kharagpur who had exposed flaws in the IIT entrance exam and alleged financial irregularities, has been vindicated of the charges levelled against him by the Institute as former President Pranab Mukherjee set aside the penalty of compulsory retirement imposed on him before demitting office last month.

The IIT administration had suspended Rajeev Kumar in May 2011 after accusing him of “damaging the reputation of the institute” by levelling allegations on issues ranging from irregularities in the purchase of laptops to rampant copying by students during examinations.

The inquiry instituted against him had found him guilty and in 2014 the institute decided to impose a penalty of compulsory retirement. Kumar approached Delhi High Court against the decision and also appealed to the President alleging bias.

Kumar had filed a PIL in Supreme Court seeking transparency in the IIT JEE which eventually played a crucial role in IITs introducing several changes including permitting examiners to take back a carbon copy of their answer scripts. He was hailed as an “unsung hero” by the apex court.

The HRD Ministry on Tuesday issued orders to IIT Kharagpur director to comply with Pranab Mukherjee’s decision.

“I am directed to refer to the appeal dated 03rd September, 2014 filed by Prof. Rajeev Kumar on the above mentioned subject and to say that the Hon’ble President of India, in his capacity as the Visitor of IIT Kharagpur and in exercise of powers conferred under Section 15(12)(a) of the Statutes of the Institute has set aside the penalty of compulsory retirement imposed on him,” states HRD Ministry’s order.


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