Vikrant Singh, a 30-year-old Ph.D. scholar from IIT Guwahati was suspended from the university for apparently making false accusations about corruption in the varsity.
Currently in his fourth year of Ph.D., he received his expulsion letter on June 25th for instigating a hunger strike in January 2020. As per the university, he is a repeat discipline violator, and his behavior remained unchanged even after multiple warnings.
Times When Vikrant Singh Protested Against The Authorities
The first incident dates back to January 2020 when Vikrant and his pal Himanchal Singh (also a Ph.D. student at IIT-G) apparently mobilized students to protest against the compulsory retirement of his professor in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Brajesh Rai.
Rai was actively involved in “unveiling” the prevalent corruption and mismanagement in the varsity. Hence his compulsory retirement instigated his student Vikrant to hold protests against the admin. The students held a hunger strike for three days, from January 4th to 7th.
Both Vikrant and Himanchal were suspended, but allowed to return after he signed “no protest, dharna” undertaking.
Later in October 2020, he posted on Facebook about how students appearing for JEE use unfair means like proxies. It is in the knowledge of IITs, but their action in this regard has been “vague and sad”. Professor Brajesh brought this matter to light but was rewarded with compulsory retirement.
The Saga Of Corruption In IITs
IITs are premier institutions of our country. Lacs of students study diligently and pay hefty sums to study there. However, on more than one occasion, the professors at IITs have tried to raise their voices against corruption and malpractices.
Brajesh Rai filed over 300 RTIs to reveal corruption at IIT-G. He voiced against irregularities in the recruitment process at IIT-G, IIIT-Manipur, and IIIT-Bhagalpur.
IIT-G is the parent institution of the latter two universities. He claimed that the staff and faculty have been “handpicked” rather than being recruited through a formal channel.
He also raised concerns over the presence of a private school named Akshara on the campus. The school, which allegedly has been built using taxpayers’ money, was started by the spouses of faculty members and backed by the board of governors.
He even took a dig at the appointment of the chairman of the board of directors. As per him, all the chairmen appointed lately have connections with Sangh Parivar. “For quite some time now, most of the chairmen of the board of governors have been big businessmen. Most of them are affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party,” said Rai.
He also blamed the institute for discrepancies in the project that it undertook in collaboration with the ISRO. There were irregularities in the appointment of people for this project, which were not addressed properly.
Favoritism in promotions, illegal recruitment of visiting faculty, and illegal extensions of tenure are a few of the other points that Rai acted against.
Around a decade ago, a professor from IIT Kharagpur, Rajeev Kumar exposed loopholes in the JEE through RTIs.
No one knows the veracity of these claims for sure. Is the termination of Vikrant Singh owed to the fact that he was trying to unearth the corruption? The varsity denies.
The institute said, “Vikrant sent several derogatory emails to faculty members that contained not only derogatory language but also false accusations against the faculty members, resulting in intimidation and defamation.”
Vikrant said that he would take legal action against his suspension in the Guwahati High Court. How the matter unfolds is yet to be seen.
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