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IIT-K told to reinstate professor

New Delhi, Feb. 27: The Union HRD ministry has ordered IIT Kharagpur to immediately reinstate a whistleblower professor who had exposed flaws in the JEE and alleged irregularities in a laptop purchase plan before being suspended.

After its previous directive for reviewing the action against Rajeev Kumar was not adhered to, the ministry has written to the institute asking it to revoke the teacher’s suspension, sources said.

Kumar, dubbed an “unsung hero” by the Supreme Court for his JEE reform campaign, was suspended in May 2011 on charges of damaging the institute’s reputation by making the allegations.

The institute set up an inquiry committee under a retired judge, Ranojit Mitra. The panel has submitted its report. However, the institute did not set up a separate panel for reviewing the suspension, a must for central institutions like the IITs.

Kumar had alleged Mitra was biased and did not follow “due procedures”. But the institute rejected the allegations.

The ministry had also sought the advice of the CVC, which said the suspension should be revoked. Kumar recently moved Delhi High Court, which asked the institute to provide the professor a copy of the inquiry report immediately.