LUCKNOW: Four senior professors of IIT-Kanpur are under the scanner over harassment of a Dalit faculty member of the department of aerospace engineering as the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has directed the institute’s management to suspend them and lodge an FIR against them after they were found guilty of using a casteist slur against the faculty.
Institute director Manindra Agrawal said that the NCSC directive would be complied with, but the FIR is yet to be lodged against the four professors. The NCSC had recommended action against the errant professors under the SC/ST Act, 1989. The NCSC has directed the IIT-K administration to submit an action taken report on May 1.
A graduate of IIT Kanpur, Dr Subramaniam Sundrela joined IIT-K as assistant professor in January this year, and then his ordeal began. He brought the matter to the notice of the institution’s management, including the director. A three-member panel headed by Prof Vinay Kumar Pathak of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University was set up to probe the charges levelled by Dr Sundrela.
The panel, which submitted its report last month to the institute’s director, found the four professors guilty of harassing Sundrela. The probe report was placed before the IIT-K Board of Governing Council on March 19 to decide the nature of action to be taken against the guilty professors.
However, the board did not take any action and advised Dr Sundrela to reach a compromise with the guilty professors. Dr Sundrela rejected the suggestion and approached the NCSC with his complaint.
On a notice issued by the Commission, the director, along with other senior faculty members, appeared before the NCSC on April 10 with the probe report pertaining to allegations of harassment levelled by Dr Sundrela.
As per sources, the NCSC had also asked the IIT-K management to remove a senior faculty member from the board of governors for his soft approach towards the four professors. It has also sought removal of a liaison officer of the SC/ST cell of IIT-K.
The institute has been in the news for the past year for the wrong reasons. In January, a girl student of the institute was allegedly raped by an IAF employee within the campus on the pretext of marrying her. In October last year, about 22 students were rusticated from the institute for ragging their juniors.