The former vice-chancellor had recruited 674 people in his first term and tried to recruit 141 people in the last day of his second tenure, despite there being no shortage of employees
Recruitment of 141 teachers, officers and employees at Rajshahi University (RU) has been halted.
On Saturday, a notice to this effect, signed by RU Registrar Professor Abdus Salam, was issued.
According to the notification, after declaring the adhoc appointments illegal on Wednesday, the Education Ministry has formed a committee to investigate the recruitments made by Prof M Abdus Sobhan, the outgoing vice-chancellor (VC) of Rajshahi University (RU).
No decision regarding the recruitment will be taken before the probe report is submitted by the investigation committee. As such, the process of appointment has been halted.
The probe committee is headed by University Grants Commission (UGC) Member Dr Muhammed Alamgir. The other members are UGC Member Dr Md Abu Taher, Secondary and Higher Education Division Joint Secretary Md Zakir Hossain Akhanda and UGC Director Jamilur Rahman.
According to sources at Rajshahi University, members of the investigation committee came to the university at around 11am on Saturday.
They met with Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Ananda Kumar Saha and Registrar Prof Abdus Salam at 12 noon at Ananda Kumar Saha’s office.
Later, investigation committee convener Dr Muhammad Alamgir told the media that they had talked to everyone related to the recruitment process.
“We have collected all necessary information. After analyzing this information, we will submit the investigation report to the Education Ministry in the next seven working days,” he said.
Nepotism in RU job recruitment, embezzlement
Professor Abdus Sobhan came to the limelight over the issue of recruiting an inordinately large number of people at the university during his first tenure as RU vice-chancellor. After taking charge as vice-chancellor for a second term, he came under a cloud again for indulging in the exercise a second time.
From 2009 to 2013, in his first term, he appointed 330 teachers. Among them, 95 teachers were appointed on a temporary basis. Vice-Chancellor Sobhan also appointed 344 officers and employees.
Despite being barred by the Education Ministry, Sobhan hired 141 people on the last day of his term.
Although his relatives were among those appointed, there were 43 present and former leaders of the Chhatra League and Jubo League in the recruitment list, along with four journalist leaders.
Earlier on January 4, 2020, a section of teachers submitted a 300-page complaint against the university administration's irregularities and corruption to the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Education and UGC.
Based on these allegations, the UGC started the investigation on the directive of the Prime Minister's Office and Education Ministry. After investigation, the UGC found 25 complaints to be valid.
Besides, there are allegations of an embezzlement of huge amounts of money against Abdus Sobhan.
There are allegations that he took Tk10 to 12 lakh from every teacher and Tk7 to 8 lakh from every officer or employee in exchange for their recruitment.
The university fell into an extreme financial crisis due to the illegal appointment of such a large number of teachers and employees.
Money from the University Development Fund, Student Welfare Fund and Research Fund were used to give salaries to these additional recruits.
As a result, the development of the university and education was hampered greatly.
Hinting that there was no need for new teachers, President of the Department of Information and Communication Engineering Department of the University Prof Md Emdadul Haque said no planning committee was formed to appoint teachers nor did anyone talk to the university administration regarding the matter.
Professor Abdus Salam, the registrar, said: "The outgoing vice-chancellor tried to recruit people illegally. But after the Education Ministry was informed, it was made clear that such illegal recruitment would not be validated.”