Statement of the President Alumni Association (2017-18 & 2018-2020)
There is a misinformation campaign being run by some Office Bearers of Alumni Association (AA) of IITR.
It is my duty as the immediate past president of AA to put forth the facts for the benefit of IITR alumni community and other stakeholders.
I, BK Chaturvedi (1969 – BE – Mech. Engg., IITR), as the immediate past President of the Alumni Association (AA),
and the current President of the AA Shri Mohinder Nayyar (1966 – BE – Mech. Engg., IITR) wrote letters to the Director IITR saying that
IIT Roorkee is getting a bad name because of repeated wrongdoings of the AA and it's Executive Committee (EC) was not paying any heed to the suggestions for
the required changes. Therefore, IIT Roorkee should delink (disassociate) itself from the AA.
Some of the EC members of AA have been spreading false information amongst alumni to convey that the Institute wanted to control the AA. Nothing can be far from the truth. The institute was trying to set a common agenda and action plan to serve the best interests of the alumni and the Institute. In order to safeguard their personal interest, some EC members have been resorting to fabrication of false information. For example, one of the EC members recently told the press that AA gets about Rs. 6-7 Cr. per year. This is totally wrong. I wish he had checked AA accounts before speaking. Then he would not have made such a statement to the press implying that the Institute was interested in the money of AA. The truth is that the actual annual inflow in AA account has been approximately Rs. 30 lacs per year, and that too from the institute collecting AA membership fee from the outgoing students. Large part of it is spent on the salary of AA staff. AA might have a corpus of about Rs. 2.6 Cr. only.
1. The wrongdoings of the AA, leading to the need for myself and the current President’s advice to the Institute to disassociate, are many.
Some of them are listed below:
(i) A large number of complaints were received from alumni regarding sort of manipulation in elections. Many members did not get voting link to cast their votes. This happened in 2018 and again in 2020.
(ii) Some of the Roorkee based candidates seem to manipulate the voter list. It is so farcical that even I did not find my name in the voter list in 2020 election.
(iii) Candidates in the election, who are based in Roorkee, themselves choose the person of their choice as the Returning Officer of the election. This is not a fair practice.
(iv) The widespread alumni of IIT Roorkee have little bonding or connection with the AA. This is why the voting percentages are much less than even 10%.
(v) Although the alumni of IIT Roorkee are spread all over the globe,
8 out of 18 elected plus 2 ex-officio/nominated i.e. a total of 10 members of Executive Committee (EC) of AA come from Haridwar,
the district in which Roorkee lies. Thus, it is functioning like a local club of Roorkee with vested interests of a handful of alumni.
(vi) Further, the archaic bylaws say that three key office-bearers should always be from Roorkee, again to ensure that it is under the grip
of 4-5 local alumni. In fact, at present 4 office bearers out of 5, are from Roorkee.
President is the only office bearer who is not from Roorkee.
(vii) There is no limit on the number of terms a person can be an office bearer in the EC.
There used to be a limit of two terms earlier. This change in bylaws was made by EC four years back.
This is again designed to prevent entry of new people with fresh ideas.
(viii) The archaic bylaws do not stipulate proportionate geographical representation to alumni and hence AA continues to be under the grip of 4-5 local alumni based in Roorkee.
(ix) In violation of its own bylaws, the EC of AA did not allow ex-officio members of the EC, which includes Presidents of local chapters, to vote in its meeting on 30 May’2020.
(x) There is little activity to create chapters of AA across the country and outside. There is no formal system to help alumni in distress. There is little effort to actively reach out to the alumni to enhance coverage and accuracy of the database.
(xi) It creates multiple hurdles in the way of creating a "giving back" culture among the alumni of IITR.
(xii) The EC has been resisting any fundamental reform in its bylaws to address some of above issues for the last 3 years.
IIT Roorkee was not in a position to address the complaints from alumni about the wrongdoings of AA because the AA is an independent Society and IIT Roorkee has no formal authority to influence AA affairs.
Since IIT Roorkee’s name is attached to it and AA’s office is located in the main building of the institute, a large number of alumni are under the incorrect impression that IIT Roorkee has a decisive say in its affairs.
Thus the wrongdoings of AA bring a bad name to IIT Roorkee among its own alumni.
The current President Shri Mohinder Nayyar is an internationally renowned Mechanical Engineer and is a Fellow of the American Society
of Mechanical Engineers. In 2016, he was conferred with the Distinguished Alumnus Award (DAA) of IIT Roorkee.
He is also the third largest donor among the entire alumni community and has donated more than Rs. one crore to IIT Roorkee.
He has also set up the IIT Roorkee Foundation in USA.
3. IIT Roorkee is lagging far behind the other older IITs in terms of alumni donations. This is one of the main reasons for it’s low perception score in the rankings of IITs. To facilitate a giving back culture among IITR alumni and to give AA a global vision, Shri Mohinder Nayyar was approached by me to take up the Presidentship of AA.
4. The Executive Committee of AA, without any jurisdiction and in total violation of its own bylaws, illegally removed Shri Mohinder Nayyar from the post of President of AA on 30th May 2020. Further, they brutally insulted a person of Shri Nayyar's stature and age (he is more than 75 years old).
5. It may please be noted that Shri Nayyar was nominated President of AA as per the due process, just like all earlier Presidents including myself were nominated. Previous EC,
after deliberation on different names, unconditionally authorised me as the President of AA to take the final decision.
This can be seen in the minutes of the EC meeting dated 2nd February 2020. There is no mention in the minutes of the need
to come back to EC for further ratification. When the minutes were circulated, not a single objection on this point was
sent and minutes were taken on record. Some members of the EC of AA even sent emails expressing happiness on his nomination.
Same people as members of the present EC changed colours and said that ratification was needed. This was an act of breach of faith.
Actual reason was different. When the new President started pressing for reforms so that AA can serve the interests of
the alumni and the institute, they started planning for his removal knowing fully well that they do not have any authority
in the bylaws to do the same. So initially, he was repeatedly insulted. But when he continued to show his commitment to serve
his fellow alumni and the alma mater – IIT Roorkee, he was illegally removed about 4 months after the announcement of his nomination.
All this was done basically to protect the personal interests of a few Roorkee based EC members.
The President of IITRAA has always been appointed with the consent of the Head of the institute i.e. the VC or the Director.
Among the several falsehoods being spread, this is very hurtful when the present Director is being maligned as if he was wanting anything
more than the role which already existed.
The unprecedented action of illegally removing a duly nominated President, on the grounds of his nomination being improper, that too
about 4 months after the announcement of his nomination, dealt a fatal blow to the already battered image of IITRAA.
This was done without bothering to even meet or consult the Patron of AA (Director IITR) before doing it.
There was a widespread call by alumni that the institute cannot afford to sit and watch as a silent spectator any further.
A globally renowned Distinguished Alumnus of IITR was treated so shabbily. If the institute cannot protect him,
why will any alumni come forward to associate with the institute in future?
8. Since the AA is an independent Society and IIT Roorkee has no control over it, to save the name and prestige of IIT Roorkee I, as the immediate past president of AA and as a responsible alumnus of my alma mater, advised the institute to disassociate itself from the AA. After the disassociation, no one can blame IIT Roorkee for the wrongdoings of AA. Being a registered Society, AA can continue to function with complete autonomy. I wish them good luck.
9. The detailed statement of the institute dated 4th June 2020, which also contains mine and current President’s letters to the Director, is available here.
B K Chaturvedi (1969, Mech, IITR)
President IITRAA (2017-18 & 2018-20)
Dated : 20th June 2020