MG varsity book fair under cloud

The Mahatma Gandhi University, which conducted the International Book Fair (INFOBA-2012) for a period of 10 days in January this year, has come under a cloud with the university vice-chancellor refusing to divulge details about the fund collection to the varsity syndicate.

Complaints in this regard reached the finance and law minister, K.M. Mani who forwarded them to the education minister, P.K. Abdu Rabb, who in turn forwarded these to the governor, H.R. Bharadwaj, the chancellor of the university.

The vice-chancellor, Dr Rajan Gurukkal, met the governor the other day, but details of the meeting are yet to be divulged.

According to sources, in order to conduct the book fair, crores of rupees were collected under the leadership of a joint registrar of the university from self-financing institutions alone.

The statutes of the university state that such fund collection should only be undertaken with the permission of the syndicate. However, this was not the case in this instance.

When the syndicate’s planning and development standing committee convener sought details about the fund collection via a note to the registrar, the vice-chancellor issued a circular saying that back files need not be given to syndicate members.

This was widely interpreted as a cover-up attempt. The last syndicate meeting also witnessed furious scenes over the issue and the vice-chancellor was forced to retract his stand.

Despite all the goings on, the syndicate is yet to receive the file containing the details of the fund collection and expenditure of INFOBA and the vice-chancellor is yet to come clean, said a syndicate member.

INFOBA conducted the fair in order to lift the academic standards of affiliated colleges by increasing their collection of good books.

The aim was also to expose students to modern works and create opportunities for them to interact with scholars and writers in various spheres.

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