Some professors who had applied during the teaching staff recruitment drive carried out earlier this year by the Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma (ARSD) College in Delhi University’s South Campus, had allegedly resorted to large-scale irregularities, including suppression of information, as well as providing wrong information in the application forms, according to some staff members of the college.

According to documents accessed by The Sunday Guardian, some of the newly inducted professors have given contradictory information in their application forms.

Three professors from the college’s Physics Department — Manish Kumar, Rita Singh and Shankar Subramanian — had separately claimed in their application forms to be the “sole author” of a single research paper (“Effects of Sb, Zn doping on structural, electrical and optical properties of SnO2 thin films”) which was published in a journal called Materials science in Semiconductor processing, bearing ISSN number 1369-8001/310-314. The three had also claimed five marks each as part of the recruitment procedure.

Not only this, several of the research papers that they have published in the journal called Journal Materials and accessed by this newspaper show that all have multiple authors’ names in the articles, yet Manish Kumar and Shankar Subramanian have claimed sole authorship in their application forms.

Contacted, Rita Singh told The Sunday Guardian that she was the sole author of the paper (“Effects of Sb, Zn doping on structural, electrical and optical properties of SnO2 thin films”). “I do not know how and why Manish Kumar has claimed it to be his. I had also pointed it out at that time (probably admission time). It was also my Ph.D thesis and all the materials are mine. I think they are confused.”

However, Manish Kumar, the other “author” who had stated in his recruitment application form that he was the “sole author” of the paper for which he was also awarded five marks, told this paper that he was the “corresponding author” of the paper written by Rita Singh. He said, “Three people cannot claim sole authorship to a single research paper. If it has been done, it is wrong. I am the corresponding author and I can claim it.”

The application form of another professor, Mohd. Sadiq, who was recruited as an Assistant Professor of Physics in the college, shows that he did not upload any of his details in the application form and left most of the details blank. Mohd. Sadiq also did not upload his educational details — marks obtained, Board and electronic files of his M.Phil degree in Physics — yet claimed 10 points for the same.

Contacted, Mohd Sadiq refused to comment on the story and said, “If you have any doubts, please come to the college and clarify the doubts.”

According to the Delhi University’s Guidelines for Screening or Shortlisting of Candidates for appointment to the post of Assistant Professor in the University and its colleges, candidates securing 60 points and above can only be called for interview for posts of Assistant Professors. As per the guidelines, the “sole” and the “corresponding author” can claim full marks (five marks) for their research paper that has been published in a reputed journal.

When contacted, Vineeta Tuli, the screening committee member of the ARSD college, said, “Everything was all right and I cannot talk on this matter.” As per the guidelines, it is the responsibility of the screening committee to verify the claims and genuineness of the claims that are made by applicants who have applied for a job in the college.

While covering the story, this correspondent received two threatening calls from unknown numbers warning of consequences if faculty members of the college are contacted.

One caller, who did not disclose his name, telephoned this correspondent and said, “Stop calling our faculty members and questioning them; we are not liable to answer your queries and if contacted further you could face dire consequences.”

Emails and calls to Gyantosh Kumar Jha, the Principal, and Pawan Jaggi, the Governing Body chairman, remained unanswered till the time of going to press. However, Professor Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, said, “If the matter has been brought to the university’s notice, it would be with the Dean of colleges and Director of South Campus.”

Professor J.P. Khurana, director of South Campus, told this correspondent, “If any such formal complaint is made to us, we would look into the matter with seriousness.”