A former brilliant law student of Rajshahi University (RU), who claims to have topped both his under-graduate and post-graduate classes, announced he is returning the prizes he received from the govern-ment for outstanding academic performances, including the ‘Prime Minister’s Gold Medal Award’.
Md Nurul Huda, who is currently practicing in the Supreme Court as a lawyer, framed his action as a surrender in the face of the ‘corruption, irregularities and nepotism’ he encountered in the teacher re-cruitment process at RU, when he tried to join its law faculty and pursue a career in academia.
He also announced that he would return RU’s gold medal award on the same ground.
Former student Md Nurul Huda came up with the announcements at a press conference at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka on Saturday.
Huda said he “lost to the graft and nepotism in the recruitment of teachers” when applying for a post in the university, despite securing outstanding results in his Honors and Masters.
He stood first in both LLB and LLM examinations and secured a CGPA of 3.64 out of 4.
He obtained the ‘University Gold Medal’ in 2017 and the ‘Prime Minister’s Gold Medal’ in 2018.
Calling education the backbone of a nation, he alleged that financial transactions, nepotism and irregu-larities in such important issues as recruitment of teachers in the universities, can only spell the destruc-tion of the country’s education system.
“I am rejecting the Prime Minister’s Gold Medal protesting corruption, irregularities and nepotism in the recruitment of teachers in different universities of the country, including Rajshahi University,” he said.
Relaying his own experience with corruption in the recruitment process for three teachers for his de-partment in 2018, Huda alleged that the then pro vice chancellor (Pro VC) and also one of the members of the recruitment board, Chowdhury Mohammad Jakaria, proposed a recruitment scheme that would generate kickbacks for a clique within the faculty.
Moreover, another member of the recruitment board and the then chairman of the law department, Prof Abdul Hannan, took Tk 2 lakh from him as loan, he alleged.
Though the then-VC Abdus Sobhan,who was chairing the recruitment board, was informed about the issue, he didn’t take any action, Huda alleged.
“On the recommendation of the recruitment board consisting of questionable and privileged members, three teachers were appointed, all of whom had worse results than me,” said Huda, now a practising lawyer instead of perched in the academic world.
Mentioning that the investigation committee of the University Grants Commission (UGC) has declared the recruitment board illegal, Huda and his wife appeared before the investigation committee formed under the direction of the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Education in September 2020, and submitted evidence of the teacher recruitment business and various irregularities.
The UGC investigation committee’s report said the allegations of teacher recruitment trade and various irregularities were proved while calling the recruitment board an illegal entity.
The committee’s report also recommended cancellation of the appointment of 34 teachers, including VC Abdus Sobhan’s daughter and son-in-law, who were appointed according to the teacher recruitment poli-cy of 2017.
The UGC mentioned in the report that even the Prime Minister’s Gold Medal recipients have to run be-hind the teachers, or transact money for the appointment of teachers.
Yet after three years of publication of the investigation report by UGC, no visible steps were taken to address the situation, including no action against those involved in corruption.
Calling it tantamount to rejecting the Prime Minister’s Gold Medal, Huda confirmed there were no fur-ther consequences for the perpetrators of a diabolical recruitment scheme in the education sector, leading to his actions today, in a mark of protest.