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16 September 2013

IMO Exclusive: Jamia Hamdard mired in big time corruption, Unani System of Medicine getting step-motherly treatment

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By Danish Ahmad Khan

Jamia Hamdard, the dream institution of late Hakeem Abdul Hameed, which was established to espouse the cause of Unani system of Medicine, is currently passing through a bad phase of its otherwise enviable history.

Over the years Jamia Hamdard has performed very well in the field of higher education. The hallmark of the institution is that it provides several job-oriented courses, including both modern and alternative medicine. Unfortunately, of late, the Unani System of Medicine has received stepmotherly treatment by the authorities here.

The story that the Indian Muslim Observer published titled "IMO EXCLUSIVE: Son puts Hamdard University Chancellor Saiyid Hamid under ‘House Arrest’?" published on October 28, 2012, on the 'House Arrest' of Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard Saiyid Hamid by his eldest son Syed Samar Hamid, who is looking after the affairs of Hamdard Public School and is also associated with Jamia Hamdard, a year ago is being hotly debated today.

The Indian Muslim Observer has received many reactions from the family members and others who claim to be near and dear to Saiyid Hamid. Even Saiyid Hamid also personally wrote to Indian Muslim Observer on his official letter head and under his signature dated 24th May 2013 asking to take off "such an untruthful and libelous article" from our News Portal. Saiyid Hamid wrote thus: "... I was deeply dismayed that you have chosen to defame me and my family in this manner. I fail to understand what could have compelled you to write such an untruthful and a libelous article. You have caused me immense distress and pain. I would request you to kindly take off the offending piece from your website."

Anyone who has gone through our write-up will bear testimony to the fact that it was an eye-witness account of what had happened to Saiyid Hamid on that fateful day. The story was not based on hearsay nor did it contain the impressions of other people. Instead it was a vivid description of what three visitors of Saiyid Hamid had experienced and seen with their own eyes. Moreover, our intention was not to malign the image of Saiyid Hamid, whom we respect as much as others do. The purpose has been to awaken people, his well-wishers particularly, to the conditions he is living in.

In view of strong reaction/response to our story we decided to consult other people associated with Jamia Hamdard and Hamdard Public School. We found that the employees of Jamia Hamdard are living in perpetual fear. In fact, a reign of terror has been unleashed by Dr. G.N Qazi, the Vice Chancellor and Dr. Firdous A. Wani, the Registrar. But some people agreed to speak out in privacy and on condition of anonymity. The information provided to us is revealing as well as damaging.

Many in Jamia Hamdard believe that the office of Chancellor, due to the illness of Saiyid Hamid, has been overtaken by unscrupulous people because of which untoward things are happening in Jamia Hamdard. They say that Saiyid Hamid is known for his honesty and integrity of character.


But they also wonder how illegal activities are going on unchecked under his nose. They specially find it difficult to stomach the silence of the Chancellor even when an FIR has been registered against the registrar for sexually harassing a woman employee. It is also being said in the campus that Dr. G.N Qazi had manhandled his former Personal Secretary, Ms. Maryamma who agreed to withdraw her complaint under police pressure. Some people spoke about the illegal continuation in office of Dr. G.N Qazi as Vice Chancellor. But we would refrain from commenting on this as the matter is subjudice.

The most disturbing fact is that the present Jamia Hamdard administration, especially the Vice Chancellor, has no regard for rules and regulations, and has indulged in several illegal acts. Sadly neither the UGC nor the HRD Ministry has shown any interest in preventing corruption in the University. But what disturbs us the most is the fact that Saiyid Hamid is probably being kept in the dark because it is against his nature and character to allow illegal activities under his own nose. And the illegal actions of Dr. G.N Qazi are aplenty, not just one or two isolated incidents which further reinforce our suspicion that perhaps Saiyid Hamid, Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard, is not in full command of affairs in Jamia Hamdard due to his prolonged illness.

At Jamia Hamdard campus both academics and non-teaching staff narrated to us many instances of corruption and also provided us proofs in their support. A careful perusal of the papers compels us to believe that rules and regulations have really been violated.

The authorities of Jamia Hamdard appear to be intoxicated with power and arrogance as they display no regard for rules and statutes. The university has set up a medical college recently for which efforts were started during the tenure of Shamim Ahmad, a former Vice Chancellor. Dr. Qazi also worked hard to get the medical college for the university, though some teachers alleged that he delayed its coming into existence by one year, for the first application he had submitted to the Medical Council of India for approval had sought to establish a private medical college. The MCI objected and rejected the application that the land on which Jamia Hamdard is located has been obtained from the government on lease and, therefore, cannot be treated as private land. However, people could not provide proof in support of above allegation.

But Dr. Qazi surely did a few things which appear to be abnormal and violate established rules and statutes. For example, he appointed Dr. K.B Sood as Managing Director for the sole purpose of obtaining approval for the Medical College, though he had no previous experience in the field.

As the Medical College was to be set up by Jamia Hamdard, a Deemed University, the prescribed norms of recruitment should have been followed. But the university had not advertised the vacancy of Managing Director in newspapers seeking application from qualified persons. Dr. Soods’s appointment, therefore, was arbitrary and in violation of right to equal opportunity.

Dr. Sood had no experience of setting up a medical college, but he proved to be quite clever in advancing self interest. He would cause delay or create emergency situation saying that MCI was coming soon for inspection and such and such facilities were not ready. In view of this artificially created emergency the university would renovate a building or procure equipments at high costs.

But the most strange and disturbing aspect of his appointment was that besides his salary he would get a 2% commission on all purchases or perhaps on all the money spent on setting up the medical college. Jamia Hamdard is a Deemed University and has to follow the rules and regulations of the UGC. There is no provision of commission in UGC-prescribed rules for appointments. When people started murmuring about the illegal appointment and unfair method of money-making, Dr. Sood was conveniently allowed to resign. Some allege that the commission he earned was more than the salary he drew during his brief tenure.

As stated above, Jamia Hamdard is bound to follow the UGC/Government rules in all matters because it is not a private university. But sadly the university under the present authorities seems to be averse to doing things in a legal way.

In 2011, a construction company M/S Ahluwalia Construction Group was duly awarded a contract to build a Women/Girls hostel at Rs 1500/- per square feet. The rate was revised and enhanced to Rs 1850/- per sq. ft.

As per rules a new project cannot be given to M/S Ahluwalia Construction Group as extension of the work they have undertaken to build the Girls Hostel. For a new project the whole process has to start afresh, which necessitates hat an advertisement should appear in newspapers seeking tenders from interested persons. This is not just a routine practiced by institutions all over India, but also vital to ensure that all people get equal opportunity to win a building contract through competitive bidding. Aware of the rules the Construction Committee of Jamia Hamdard had resolved that M/S Ahluwalia Construction will not automatically get the contract to build the new project, namely, the Unani Hospital worth more than Rs 25 crores. But G.N Qazi administration threw the decision of the Jamia Hamdard Construction Committee to the wind, published no advertisement in newspapers seeking tenders from interested parties, and awarded the contract to M/S Ahluwalia Construction Group, which is in gross violation of Government rules.

The university’s medical college, however, received approval after a great deal of efforts. In fact, the G.N Qazi administration would often fail in meeting the requirements of the MCI. But when the medical college became a reality the G.N Qazi administration again started indulging in rule violation. The Indian Muslim Observer has obtained the Delhi High Court’s order which says that the university admitted 101 students against the approved 100 seats. Among the admitted students were two Saudis who had not appeared in the entrance test, though it is compulsory as per MCI rules. The MCI rules also stipulate that only the candidates securing 50% marks in the entrance test will be eligible to take admission in the medical course. But the list of admitted students included two persons who had secured around 45% marks in the entrance test. Strangely the High Court did not punish Jamia Hamdard, though it referred to some Supreme Court’s judgments with regard to punishing some erring colleges. The Delhi High Court, however, left the matter of Jamia Hamdard to MCI hoping the later would take appropriate action. But it proved to be a case of asking the corrupt to punish the guilty.

The Jamia Hamdard campus is abuzz with news about what they call MGRM-gate scandal.

Immediately after joining Jamia Hamdard as Vice Chancellor, Dr. G.N Qazi embarked upon a project of E-governance in administration. An advertisement appeared in Indian Express (dated 1st April 2009) seeking tenders from interested parties. In response five applications were received. A firm, MGRM Net Limited was awarded the contract on the basis of technical bid only. The commercial bids of five tenders were neither opened nor a competitive assessment of these bids was ever made. It is rumoured in the campus that MGRM was favoured over others because the son of a high university official was employed with it. The Indian Muslim Observer is still investigating if the rumour is true and this is the reason that we are refraining from naming the official. But the documents available with us clearly suggest that MGRM was a sinking ship at the time it was awarded the contract. It appears as the high official really wanted to bail out MGRM. The company was not only financially bankrupt but perhaps it did not have the required skill and expertise as well because it failed miserably in delivering the desired results. Despite its utter failure the university paid MGRM several lakh rupees. (To be continued….)

[Danish Ahmad Khan, a Journalist based at New Delhi, is Founder-Editor of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be contacted at danishkhan@indianmuslimobserver.com]

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