Finally, IRMA Director Being Replaced for Want of PhD
Gujarat-based Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), a premier, national level institute for education, training, research and consultancy in rural management, is looking to replace its incumbent director who was appointed even though he did not fulfil the mandatory requirement of having a doctorate degree (as declared by All India Council for Technical Education -AICTE and Standing Complaints Scrutiny Committee -SCSC). Moneylife had written about this in September 2019. (Read: IRMA Cannot Take New Admission for 1 Year Due to Unqualified Director?)
 
In an advertisement published on its website, IRMA says the Institute has sought applications from qualified candidates for the post of director on or before 31 July 2020. 
 
This time the advertisement is very categorical. It says,
 
1. Ph.D. degree and First Class or equivalent at the preceding degree in business and management (all fields)/ humanities/ social sciences;
 
2. At least two successful Ph.D. guided as Supervisor/ Co-Supervisor and minimum 8 research publication in SCI journals / UGC / AICTE approved list of journals;
 
3. Minimum 15 years of experience in teaching / research / industry, out of which at least 5 years shall be at the post equivalent to that of Professor.
 
Prof Hitesh Bhat was appointed as director of IRMA by a search committee headed by NDDB chairman Dilip Rath, IRMA’s professor emeritus Dr Tushar Shah and RS Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul). Sources had told us that he was considered, despite the committee being fully aware of his inadequate qualifications because Prof Bhat was a very popular teacher with vast industry experience. 
 
 
Unfortunately, this only triggered a controversy. The Application Deficiency Report (ADR) of AICTE for 2018-19 generated on 7 February 2018 mentions Prof Bhatt’s lack of appropriate degree (Read: IRMA Reported for Deficiency in Director Qualifications by AICTE, Twice)
 
In its proceedings for the meeting held on 25 September 2019, the SCSC states "...on re-examination, the appointment of the principal or director Prof HV Bhatt, the Committee is of the view that on the date of his appointment, he was not qualified as principal or director as he was not having Ph D or equivalence of Ph D, which was relaxed by the Institute without having any authority." (Read: IRMA Director Prof Hitesh Bhatt Does Not Fulfil Eligibility Criteria, Reiterates Committee Headed by Retired HC Judge)
 
 
In October 2019, responding to our email on AICTE deficiency reports, Prof Bhatt had replied, “The matter in question is under the purview of AICTE and we will be able to provide more information post their decision on the same.”
 
Commenting on the ADR for 2018-19, Prof Bhatt had said, there was no overall deficiency of IRMA. “We also received extension of approval EoA along with this ADR to run our three programmes, namely, the 'Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Rural Management)', 'Fellowship Programme in Management', and 'Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Executive)'. Within this ADR, there are deficiencies at a few places and some of them are on account of the questionnaire itself.”
 
IRMA was founded in 1979 at the initiative of NDDB and the support of government of India, government of Gujarat and Swiss Development Co-operation. Talking about IRMA in his biography, "I Too Had a Dream", Dr Kurien had said, “My reasoning was even if only a handful of students each year from such an institute (IRMA) could grow, evolve, stride out into the world and, perhaps build some more Amuls, what a boon it would be for our rural people and for the nation.”
 
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    COMMENTS

    RN Ghatak

    1 month ago

    I personally feel very sad to know that IRMA has met this fate. It's quite surprising why the board didn't take tough decisions to save the image of IRMA. I am concerned about the future of the students who will have to face troubles and maybe humiliation in their entire career. Someone should stand up and lead.

    ibnbatutata

    1 month ago

    Bhatt has taken IRMA to new heights... 72nd rank in NIRF2020. M/s Bhatt & Bhatt - चोर चोर मौसेरे भाई - have potential to get a century score for IRMA. NIRF 2021 is not far. It needs some effort to take IRMA from 29 in NIRF 2017 to 72 in NIRF 2020. In NIRF 2019 it was 51. "Choti Choti baton se poornta - छोटी -२ बातों से पूर्णता " will be a 100th rank. Oops 75 ke baad batatey hi nahi - के बाद बताते ही नहीं, is unfortunate.

    Bhatt during his illegal regime recruited three non-PhDs to increase population of non-PhDs further. Bhatt's Law "Non-PhDs should drive out PhDs." And, finally drive IRMA out of management education landscape. Thanks, to Bhatt's self-incentive scheme Bhatt has elevated greed to a great level. MDP ka free khana to ...

    M/s Shah & Sondhi are nicely supporting Bhatt & Bhatt to quickly reach goal. Both are constant in every selection committee's equation. Shah & Sondhi are stars of the IRMA's Board of Governors "all above the world so high like two diamonds studded in the sky".

    Viral Parmar

    1 month ago

    Dr Kurien established IRMA so that it can help rural development by creating barefoot managers but because of the conduct of ex director Natarajan and Hitesh Bhatt today it has become a centre of personal fulfillment of barefaced directors.

    Remember that it has been reported in DNA that ex director RC Natarajan was removed on charges of sexual harassment by a woman employee

    https://www.dnaindia.com/ahmedabad/report-hitesh-bhatt-announced-as-new-irma-director-2563919/amp

    The height of audacity is that prof Bhatt was not asked to resign even after High Court judgements and AICTE orders. Who all are protecting prof Bhatt and why?

    comegi6179

    1 month ago

    What a sad ending of a controversy a punch in the face. The culprits of bogus appointment of Hitesh Bhatt as Director including Prof Bhatt should be charged for 420, wilful deceit and bribery.

    Against bribes and promised bribes, the Board of Governors chaired by NDDB chairman Dilip Rath appointed a Director who was not qualified . Then the Director Prof Hitesh Bhatt obtains several crore rupees of grant from sponsoring institution NDDB. On the instructions of Dilip Rath NDDB gets into profiteering out of a new contract with IRMA to construct buildings financed by NDDB's assistance. All happens with approval of NDDB Chairman Dilip Rath and the new director Prof Hitesh Bhatt. Crores of Rupees siphoned off quietly without any fuss by keeping in dark the Central Government.

    The unqualified Director was appointed not to serve IRMA but to shamelessly serve his masters. I think Prof Bhatt has served and bribed them well that's why unqualified Prof Bhatt didn't resign from the post of Director and still holds office after two and half years of his bogus appointment.

    I fear that the degrees awarded by IRMA during his tenure will also be technically deemed bogus and void. It remains to be investigated what things besides money lured the Board of Governors to appoint an unqualified Director?

    How many undeserving candidates were admitted to IRMA under the influence of Hitesh Bhatt and how many of them passed? When Hitesh Bhatt turned to deceit and bribery for his appointment it would be not a surprise to know that he also extorted huge money from students for admission, exam scores and placement.

    The tenure of Hitesh Bhatt ruined the reputation and rankings of IRMA. Who gained out of all this?

    Centre asks telcos, ISPs to block access to banned Chinese apps
    The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has directed telecom operators and internet service providers to block access to all the 59 Chinese apps banned by the government with immediate effect, sources said.
     
    DoT has asked all the service players to comply with the order and submit compliance reports.
     
    The development comes after the Centre on Monday banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser and Xiaomi's Mi Community over national security concerns as India-China bilateral relations remain strained after the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops in eastern Ladakh.
     
    The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a list of 59 Chinese apps that are now banned in the country.
     
    The ministry said that the step has been taken "since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".
     
    Chinese short-video making app TikTok on Tuesday said it is in the process of complying with the Indian government order to ban 59 Chinese apps.
     
    "The government of India has issued an interim order for the blocking of 59 apps, including TikTok and we are in the process of complying with it," Nikhil Gandhi, Head of TikTok India, said in a statement, adding that the company has been invited to meet with concerned government stakeholders for an opportunity to respond and submit clarifications.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    mahesh.bhatt

    1 month ago

    So where is the so called privacy of Telco's see app layer details at carrier levels? Digital Privacy Pipe Dreams Inc Jio India Badhai Ho on stripping Aam Aadmi technically tagging GSM Transceivers 24*7 & profile net stage? Mahesh Bhatt Kirticorp

    Ramesh Popat

    1 month ago

    mobile handsets are equally risky!

    PM Modi Extends Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till November; Emphasises on Increasing Economic Activities Further
    Prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till the end of November. He also says economic activities in the country will be increased further while observing all precautions to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. He further said that schemes focused on agriculture, economically weaker sections of society and rural areas will aid in employment generating during the monsoon and thereafter. Besides, the PM pointed out, the country will continue with its efforts for import substitution and will become even more 'Vocal for Local'.
     
    In his address to the nation, the PM emphasized that provision of food to those in need during lockdown has been the foremost priority of the country. As soon as lockdown was announced, the government brought about PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, under which a package of Rs1.75 lakh crore for the poor was announced.
     
     
    PM Modi observed that the enormity of the decision to provide free ration for three months to more than 80 crore people i.e. providing 5 kg free rice or wheat to each member of the family, along with providing 1kg pulses to each family, per month, has made the entire world take notice. The number of people who were provided free ration is several times the population of many large countries, he said.
     
    The prime minister noted that with the commencement of the rainy season, most of the work takes place in the agriculture sector. Also, several festivals take place one after the other, including Guru Purnima, Rakshabandhan, Shri Krishna Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Dussehra, Deepawali, Chhath Puja, among others. 
     
    He says, "Keeping in mind that requirements as well as expenditure increase during this time, the government has decided to extend PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana till Deepawali and Chhath Puja, ie the scheme will continue to remain applicable from July till the end of November. During this five-month period, more than 80 crore people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per month. Along with providing 5kg free rice or wheat to each member of a family, 1 kg free whole chana will also be provided to each family per month."
     
    According to economist and social scientist Reetika Khera extending the doubling of food entitlements for those who are covered by the National Food Security Act (NFSA) is a very welcome move, a big relief, especially given the rising food stocks situation. "Also, inclusion and continuation of 1 kg dal is good. This should be made a permanent entitlement," she says.
     
    The government will spend more than Rs90,000 crore towards the extension of the scheme, the prime minister said, adding that if the amount spent towards it in the previous three months is added together, a total of almost Rs1.5 lakh crore would be spent towards the scheme. He credited and thanked the hard-working farmers and honest tax payers for making it possible for the government to procure and distribute free food grains.
     
    Ms Khera, who is associate professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM Ahmedabad), says that there is a need to go beyond the NFSA mandate. She feels, many gig economy workers, street vemdors, auto and taxi drivers, who otherwise managed on their own are in need of support right now and our foodstocks allow us to expand the public distribution system (PDS).

    She says, "The finance minister had announced that 8 crore migrants will be added to the PDS food safety net for two months. We do not know the status of this and in any case they should be added permanently in order for us to meet our legal obligations under the NFSA, which mandates coverage of 67% of the population and 81 crore is about 60% only."
     
    PM Modi also underlined that the country is moving towards the institution of ‘one nation, one ration card’, which will be of immense benefit to the poor who travel to other states in search of work.
     
    Staying Safe during Unlock 2
     
    Prime minister Modi also noted that the shift of the fight against coronavirus to Unlock 2 coincides with the weather which results in several ailments. He asked everyone to take care of their health. 
     
     
    He says he observed that due to timely decisions like lockdown, it has been possible to save the lives of lakhs of people and the death rate in the country is amongst the lowest in the world. "However, irresponsible and negligent behaviour has been on the rise during Unlock 1. Earlier people were more careful about usage of mask, washing hands for more than 20 seconds several times during the day and maintaining ‘do gazdoori’. When more being more careful is necessary, rise of negligence is a cause of concern," Mr Modi added.
     
    According to the PM, regulations need to be followed with the same seriousness as during Lockdown, especially in the Containment Zones. He exhorted people to spread awareness amongst those not following such rules and regulations, giving example of the prime minister of a country being fined Rs13000 for not wearing mask in a public place. 
     
    Mr Modi says, "Local administration in India will need to act with same alacrity, since no one, including the prime minister, is above the rule of law."
     
    In the coming times, the prime minister says government will continue to take further steps to empower the poor and the needy. Economic activities will also be enhanced, with due precautions in place. He reiterated the pledge to work towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and to be vocal for local, while also asking people to be careful, use mask or face cover and continue following the mantra of maintaining ‘do gaz doori’.
     
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