3 ex-principals of Rewa’s British-era TRS College in jail for corruption

Three ex-principals of Thakur Ranmat Singh, popularly called T.R.S College in Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district, were convicted by a district court and sent to jail on the basis of a complaint regarding financial irregularities during their tenures.

It is probably the first such instance in the history of this over one and a half century old educational institution when the persons occupying the top post were sent to jail on corruption charges.

The three former principals, who were sent to jail on charges of corruption and other financial irregularities during their tenures are S. U. Khan, Satyendra Sharma and Ramlala Shukla.

Khan and Sharma were retired a few years back. Shukla, who was suspended in 2020 on corruption charges, is now attached to a state government-run college in Sagar district.

However, it may not be the last list of the persons associated or serving in T.R.S. College, which is also called the heritage of Vindhya Pradesh. Before Independence, Rewa was the capital of Vindhya Pradesh, which was merged with Madhya Pradesh in 1956. Some more prominent professors and staff members are also facing allegations of corruption.

IANS has learnt that at least 18 more persons, including professors and HoDs (head of the department) of several departments and administrative staff members are facing corruption charges, which are being probed by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

A case of corruption and other financial irregularities against the three principals, professors and other staff members was registered on the direction of the Rewa district collector Ilaia Raja T. in 2020, who is currently posted in Jabalpur district. The conviction of the three ex-principals came at a time when the incumbent principal of the college – Dr. K. K. Sharma – is set to retire on October 31, and the new principal of TRS college is going to be appointed soon.

Though the FIR was registered in 2020, reports of alleged financial irregularities and allegations against some prominent persons associated with the college had started circulating in 2007-2008, sources privy to the matter told IANS.

“TRS college is not only one of the oldest educational institution in Madhya Pradesh but also a heritage of this region, but for the last few years, it has become like a football between the lobbies of local politicians. What could be a worse thing that even the principal of this reputed college would be decided by the local politicians,” said a senior professor of the college on condition of anonymity.

What is more ironic is that despite being one of the oldest and most prominent educational institution in the state, T.R.S. College has been waiting for a regular principal for nearly a decade. A temporary principal has been appointed every time.

“Why has T.R.S. College not got a regular principal for nearly a decade? It is because of two reasons. First, the promotion of regular professors associated with the college is pending since the last many years. Second, the hierarchy system is not followed in appointing a principal and therefore every time conflicts arise. It is my personal view that if the government really wants to protect the integrity of this college, a regular principal should be appointed and he/she should be from outside,” said another senior professor of the college, requesting not to be named.

Some other professors, who have been associated with T.R.S. College for long, said that the college can regain its reputation if a principal is appointed from outside the state and he remains free to take decisions without the influence of the local politicians.

Some others who spoke to IANS were of the view that autonomy was the key reason for corruption in T. R. S College and therefore this college should be taken over by the state government. “T.R.S is a fully autonomous college, which decides its functioning, papers, exams, results and all activities, hence there is huge possibility of corruption,” said another professor.

The college was established during the British era. It was founded during the reign of the 32nd ruler of the Baghel dynasty of Rewa state – Maharaja Raghuraj Singh (1857-1880) in 1869 as a public school. Rewa, which was a Rajput princely state in the central part of India, was a British protectorate.

The institution was upgraded to the status of a high school in 1882 and was renamed Durbar High School. It was affiliated with India’s two prestigious universities — University of Kolkata and Allahabad University — in 1884 and 1891-92 respectively.

In 1935 the college was elevated to the status of an Intermediate College. On August 15, 1957 the college was named Thakur Ranmat Singh (TRS) Postgraduate College in memory of freedom fighter Thakur Ranmat Singh by the Madhya Pradesh government.

T.R.S. College was recognised as an autonomous college by the UGC in 1995. The college was declared a Centre for Excellence by the state government in 2001.

At present, the college accommodates over 8,000 students in more than 15 departments.

20221030-081608

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