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Education - 3 weeks ago

Trustees looted funds of Islamic University

2-varsity running on same name

Staff Correspondent: The members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Bangladesh Islamic University have taken huge financial and vehicle benefits. Even though there is no rule, the university’s fixed deposit with interest of Tk 5 crore has been withdrawn. A loan of Tk 10 crore has been taken from the bank in the name of the university for the purchase of land and construction of a building for the establishment of a permanent campus. The building was constructed without the approval of the Capital Development Authority (RAJUK). The job was given to a relative of the BOT chairman without regard to the law. The investigation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) has revealed the looting of crores of taka of Bangladesh Islamic University.
Due to the financial irregularities of this private university located in Mugda Green Model Town of the capital, the Ministry of Education is thinking of disbanding the BOT by bringing the whole matter to the attention of the chancellor of the university. For this reason, a meeting has been called in the meeting room of the Ministry of Education yesterday(Monday). Under the chairmanship of Education Minister Barrister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, State Minister Shamsun Nahar, Secretary of Secondary and Higher Education Department, Chairman of UGC and representatives of various departments including Intelligence Department have participated in this meeting. The Vice-Chancellor, Treasurer and Registrar of the University have been asked to explain the real fact.
According to sources in the Ministry of Education, a five-member investigation team of the UGC conducted a detailed investigation and submitted their report to the Ministry of Education. UGC Member Professor Dr. Biswajit Chand was the head of the investigation committee. The investigation of this committee has revealed the terrible picture of financial looting in the university.
It is known that Jamaat leader Delaware Hossain Sayedi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes, applied for the approval of this university in 2005 during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government. Later, Sayeedi’s brother-in-law and Jamaat leader Professor Kamal Uddin Abdullah Jafri was made the chairman of the university’s board of trustees. The permission period of this university, which was started with temporary permission, expired long ago. Yet they did not apply to the government for permanent charter. The university currently has no legal basis for its operations as its permit to set up and operate has expired and it has not submitted an application for certification under the Private Universities Act.
In the beginning, the university started with only four subjects, as the university authorities withdrew Tk 5 crore of fixed deposit with interest from the bank, UGC did not allow to open any new subjects. Due to these reasons, once the number of students exceeded 10,000, but now it has reduced to 1,500.
Authorities fired 10 teachers illegally during Corona. The sacked people complained that the university was run by people from the Jamaat clan. During the Corona period, the teachers of the progressive genre were selectively thrown out of the university on the pretext of financial crisis. This allegation was proved to be true by the UGC investigation. The inquiry committee recommended their reinstatement.
An honorarium of more than Tk 6 crore
According to the investigation report on the corruption of BOT members, BOT chairman, vice chairman and member secretary have taken Tk 6 crore 13 lakh 32 thousand as monthly honorarium in the last 11 financial years. Only the BOT chairman has taken Tk 3 crore 66 lakh 6 thousand 213 from the university fund for monthly honorarium and car facility for 11 years by paying Tk 3 lakh 80 thousand per month. Whereas the Vice-Chancellor who is in charge of the Chief Executive of the University does not even get half of the salary. Although the BOT chairman can’t take any financial benefits as a trustee. Apart from this, he is taking various benefits from the university including car, driver, accommodation and several employees.
BOT Vice Chairman Professor Dr. ANM Rafiqur Rahman took Tk 1 crore 33 lakh 16 thousand 478. Member Secretary Syed Shahidul Bari took Tk 1 crore 14 lakh 9 thousand 940. But the BOT deed states that the trust will be run on Islamic ideals in a philanthropic, non-profit and non-commercial manner. But the BOT members turned it into a business. Apart from the honorarium, the members have grabbed crores of taka for sitting allowance. Among the 9 trustees of this institution, only four members invested Tk 1 crore 56 lakh 29 thousand 856 in establishing the university. The report recommended depositing the money illegally taken by the BOT members to the university fund as per the Private Universities Act. At the same time, the case has been recommended to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
Kamaluddin Jafri’s brother Syed Shahidul Bari is the member secretary of BOT. He also holds the post of Director of University Planning and Development. It is alleged that he took financial benefits of more than Tk 1 lakh per month without regular office work. He even took regular salary after staying abroad for months. Apart from this, teachers and officials have complained that Shahidul Bari University’s AC was opened and installed in his own home.
BOT Chairman’s son Syed Ammar is working as an administrative assistant (supervisor) of the university. Staying outside Dhaka, he has been taking regular salary from the university fund for years. Apart from this, relatives of the BOT chairman are working in various academic and administrative positions of the university.
The teachers and officials complained that the BOT members in charge of the university did not take any initiative for the development of the university despite illegally taking various benefits including financial. Irregularities, negligence and mismanagement of a few members including the chairman have pushed the university towards misery.
All serious financial irregularities
A review of the documents of the last 11 years shows that more than Tk 15 crore have been withdrawn from bank loans and reserved funds. Out of which honor is the biggest amount.
The investigation said, ‘When the university was going through extreme financial hardship, the chairman, vice chairman and member secretary were still taking their fixed monthly salary and honorarium. The matter is much like eating ghee even after making a loan. Where the trust is supposed to work for the improvement of the university, on the contrary they have played a harmful role for the university.
The members of the investigation committee told that according to the Private University Act, the money of the general fund of the private university can’t be spent for any purpose other than the necessary expenses of that university. The Board of Trustees of the University has continued to receive the monthly salary and sitting allowance without any consideration, despite the instructions given by the UGC and the Government several times in this regard.
A review of the information provided by the university and the bank statement shows that even though the FDR was opened as per law in the name of the University, the interest and principal against the FDR were withdrawn, which is a clear violation of the University Act. For this there is a provision of imprisonment for 5 years or fine up to Tk 10 lakhs or both.
UGC wants name change
According to the report, a public university was established in Kushtia in 1980 named ‘Islami University, Bangladesh’. It was named ‘Bangladesh Islamic University’ even though there was a provision that no other university with a similar name could be established. The inquiry committee recommended changing the name of the university.
Recommendations of UGC
The UGC has commented that the university has made no attempt to follow the law properly in the 19 years since its inception. Overall, it is recommended to take necessary measures to reconstitute the Board of Trustees on an urgent basis by applying the Chancellor’s jurisdiction as per the Private Universities Act to resolve the ongoing impasse of the University.
University authorities statement
Bangladesh Islamic University Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Aminul Haque Bhuiyan told that private universities have to go through many challenges. So it is not that everything can be answered all the time. You speak knowingly. What else can I say about this?
On the question of whether financial crisis has arisen in the university due to looting of BOT members, he said, financial tension always exists in private universities. Also, in public universities.
What UGC says
UGC member and head of the investigation team Professor Dr. Biswajit Chand said, while investigating the case of dismissal of teachers, they came to the notice of taking various illegal benefits by the trustee board chairman and his family members. In particular, evidence has been found that the BOT chairman takes Tk 380,000 per month as an honorarium. Relatives of BOT chairman is taking salary month after month without holding office. Of course, these funds will be returned to the university fund from them and legal action will be taken against them.

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