Getting fired for whistle-blowing

Some time ago, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Chandigarh, fired one of its scientists, Dr Animesh Roy, who had made allegations of unethical practices against another senior scientist at that institute. G S Mudur’s article from 2009 goes into details. Quote:

An inquiry panel set up by Niper’s board of governors has now said the institute punished Roy for blowing the whistle on unethical research practices by the head of its pharmaceutical technology department, Uttam Chand Banerjee.

Two independent scientists asked by the panel to evaluate Roy’s performance have given him high grades. The panel has called on the institute to reappoint Roy and initiate action against Banerjee….

The institute’s dean, Saranjit Singh, told the panel that Roy had “hurt our egos” and it did not matter whether he was a good scientist or not, according to the panel’s report. Singh told the panel Roy could be accommodated at any other Niper, but if he were reinstated at Chandigarh, Singh and three others would “resign under protest”.

Privately, I have heard from various sources, in agreement with the report above, that there was substance to Roy’s allegations and no substance to the charges against him. But he was never reinstated he was reinstated only in September, 2011.

More recently, I heard from another NIPER scientist, Dr Nilanjan Roy, who was also fired, this time for alleging financial irregularities — specifically, that huge amounts of funds were either unused or diverted for other purposes. This case too has hit the media. The Deccan Herald covers it here; a TV report from Times Now is here.

Earlier, the allegations of corruption were covered in The Mail Online, which reported that the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers has asked the NIPER board for an explanation. The Mail Today reports that the government is facing criticism in Parliament and has asked the Planning Commission to undertake a “comprehensive evaluation of the performance of NIPER”.

A blog dedicated to this case has been up here for a while.

I have met Nilanjan once and corresponded with him a bit now and then. I believe he is an honest man who acted out of concern for his institution. I hope that the chairman of NIPER’s board, Dr V M Katoch, takes a personal interest in ascertaining the facts of this case, and does not wait for a court order directing him to respond. If cases like this are left to the politicians to worry about, it does not speak well for Indian science.



UPDATE 5/5/2012: I corrected the claim that Dr Animesh Roy was never reinstated: he was, but over two years after the Telegraph report above appeared.

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5 Comments

  1. Common man

     /  May 7, 2012

    Looks like
    “You scratch my back I will scratch yours”
    A question to Dr. Roy which he never answered “why he kept silent for almost 10 years? If he was aware of the thing, as an honest citizen (as he always claims to be) he should have reported it. What is his excuse of not doing that? Was he also getting a pie of the cake?”

    Would loved to see his response!

  2. Dr ROY If you are really a crusader (sic) please identify the gang of four. Its high time that u should let the monkey of the back. Dont play games here. We also know that you too are on the grill and this blog is to divert all attention. Your writ petition against NIPER was recently disposed off by the high court.

    We all know about your past how you used to shout and mistreat your students. You even had used un-parliamentary words against women students in your lab. Beware if the facts go to National commission against women you will be crucified. Apart from that you have been fudging up data for your research (proof is to be given to Ministry of science and tech). so mister knowmics all this fight against corruption is a just bogus to cover your misdeeds what you have done in the past like giving false bills for your Belgium travel.

  3. Rahul Siddharthan

     /  May 9, 2012

    This is not a forum to make personal accusations. Also, I am not taking sides in this matter, but I believe an independent investigation is necessary, in view of past occurrences at NIPER. It is also irregular for an officiating director to take this sort of extreme action without an independent enquiry.

    I’m closing comments here, but have made a new post that lays out my position more clearly.

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