Patna, Jan. 27: The state education department has constituted a three-member inquiry committee against Patna University vice-chancellor (VC) Shambhu Nath Singh at the behest of four students facing a probe for misbehaving with the VC.
Sources said Varun Choudhary, banned from entering the varsity premises with the other three students for heckling Singh on August 29 last year, took the lead in levelling charges on the VC.
Education department secretary S. Shiv Kumar formed the panel, headed by education department (higher education) director Sitaram Singh, on Wednesday evening to look into the charges of financial irregularities levelled on the VC. The other members of the panel are R.N. Pandey and N.R. Verma, both education department officers.
The education department secretary said: “The inquiry committee has been formed after receiving complaints of financial irregularities against the VC.”
Besides financial irregularities, Choudhary and the three other students accused the VC of appointing people of his caste as members of the sports panel and the cultural committee.
The VC was visibly shocked over the constitution of a probe panel against him at the behest of a few ruffians. Singh said: “I have heard about the inquiry but have not received any letter till now.”
The VC said: “The College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, got permanent teachers under my tenure. I have introduced awards for undergraduate students and teachers for the academic growth of the university. Against this backdrop, if I face a probe at the behest of some troublemongers, it will be very sad.”
Shiva Jatan Thakur, a former member of the Bihar Public Service Commission, criticised the decision of the education department to constitute an inquiry committee to probe into the charges of irregularities against the VC, saying it was a blatant violation of the statutory law. Referring to Section 10(2) of the Patna University Act, 1976, Thakur said the power to constitute an inquiry committee has been conferred exclusively on the chancellor alone.
The Patna University VC took several initiatives in the past few months to improve the academic activities. Besides, Singh constituted sports and cultural committees to promote extra-curricular activities among students. He also gave a boost to the introduction of the semester system in the varsity.