Amid data breach probe, questions over violation of rotation policy for IT head at Kashmir University

Srinagar, Aug 23: Amid a high level probe ordered by the Kashmir University (KU) Vice Chancellor into alleged data breach at the varsity recently, it has come to the fore that the University authorities have brazenly overlooked the rotation policy to allow continuation of the in-charge IT Director who looks after all the IT operations in the University.

During the ongoing probe into alleged data breach involving more than 1 million students and employees on Dark Web, several University members have raised the issue of non-rotation of In-Charge Director IT Maroof Qadri alleging it will hamper smooth probe into the serious issue.

Qadri was made In-Charge IT Director, then Scientist B, in 2016 by former Vice Chancellor Khurshid Andrabi “till further orders”. He continues to hold the position for the last more than six years allegedly in gross violation of Three Year Rotation Policy for all Heads Of Departments, Directors and Coordinators.

“Even Vice Chancellors have a fixed term of three or five years after which they are changed. Why Director IT has not been changed has raised eyebrows in the context of veracity of data probe,” said a KU teacher, wishing anonymity. “This illegal continuation of one particular official without rotation for six years has created sense of indispensability in the University’s IT operations system because of which there has been no accountability in the IT operations which has led to alleged data breach.”

The CERT-In, a Government of India, has sought a report from the Kashmir University Vice Chancellor regarding the alleged data breach. The Vice Chancellor has on her part constituted a committee to inquire into the matter and submit its report.

“The Committee has sought a report from In-Charge Director IT about the data breach. It is a futile exercise in absence of a third party evaluation. An accused cannot give a clean chit to himself and blame others for his own fault,” said another teacher in know-how of data breach issue at Kashmir University.

The alleged overlooking of rules to rotate In-Charge Director IT has led to accusations that favouritism was prevalent in the University under the nose of the authorities who were dragging feet on the issue of filing up the post of Director IT to proper advertisement.

Insiders say the Vice Chancellor should inquire into why the post is not being properly advertised and how one particular director is allowed to continue without rotation for six long years.

“The In-Charge IT Director should first be removed to pave the way for a fair inquiry into the matter by a third party. Otherwise this serious issue will be brushed under the carpet if accused officials are allowed to act as judge, jury and hangman all by themselves,” the teachers quoted above said.

It is also alleged that serious allegations against the In-Charge IT Director related to his B.E degree, payment of hefty amount of Rs 18 lakh as medical reimbursement against his late mother’s treatment outside J&K by showing her as dependent falsely and award of Ph.D degree to him have come under scanner of the investigating agencies.

However it is alleged that owing to his alleged proximity and personal relation with University authorities, the allegations were brushed aside from time to time.

The University stake-holders have demanded a probe into all allegations and rotation issues so that a fair probe takes place in the data breach issue.

Top officials of the varsity informed, “The matter in this regard is sub-judice and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has asked the varsity to maintain the status-quo.”kno

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