Friday, 17 August 2012

Facts behind Coal Net Allegations

The Truth behind Coal Net Allegations


A relentless smear campaign is being conducted by the Telegraph and The Times of India to constantly and publicly malign Prof. P. P. Chakrabarti (PPC), one of the most respected Professors in the IIT system so as to try and influence the decision of the next Director of IIT Kharagpur.


Several news paper articles:

(Telegraph:,, and

Times of India:

have set up a systematic campaign to “taint” and falsely malign Prof PPC, a teacher to the core and a spotless honest personality with a clear vision.


Each item has been planted at various decision points in the process to put pressure on the system where it does not exist. That too, when everyone concerned about it knows that the accusations against Prof PPC are bogus.


We collected the main facts. Here is a summary of our analysis related to Prof PPC only as this is what is relevant here and we do not wish to overburden readers with too many aspects (We understand that IIT KGP has provided a detailed analysis on the whole thing and provided a suitable justification for other Professors too):


1.      The main allegations relate to a 2001 Work order. Professor PPC became Dean SRIC in 2004. He has no hand in deciding that Work Order. The major actions taken by Prof P. P. Chakrabarti when he became Dean SRIC was to cancel the Work order of 2001 to TCG (in Feb 2004), set up a proper manpower contract with TCG (in April 2004) as per earlier approval of Director and transparently inform Coal India by a letter (in May 2004) on the way the work is being carried out. Each of them has since been identified as being the right things to have been done. He could not have done any of these earlier as he became Dean only in 2004.


2.      Here is the most interesting aspect. The allegation against Prof PPC is the following:


‘Vide his letter dated 11.5.2004, he misrepresented to CIL that the work has not been outsourced to M/S TCG.’


Below is the relevant excerpt from that letter which Prof PPC wrote to CIL (Coal India Limited) on May 11, 2004:


As you are aware, architecting the software was a non-trivial job. The IIT professors have developed a unique software for you – something that is possibly not available anywhere else. However, the coding, customization and testing process in software development requires stable, trained manpower in large numbers. In order to maintain complete quality control in coding of the software, IIT uses manpower from two kinds of sources – one which it recruits and trains and another which it hires from firms that adhere to international quality standards. In every case, all hired people work under the direct supervision and control of IIT professors. In your case, we have hired manpower from a CMM5 quality company (TCG Software Services Pvt Ltd) who has agreed to code the software designed and developed by IIT Kharagpur professors under our guidance and control. We have also recruited manpower from the market for specialized work.”


The rest of the letter provides details on how IIT runs this project.


Interestingly, this letter:

1.      Specifically mentions TCG and explains its role and therefore does not hide or misrepresent anything.

2.      Describes the manner in which the project was running as approved by IITKGP as per records and so presents the ground truth.

3.      Till date CIL has not refuted this nor have they objected to this mode of work as being in violation of against any agreement or work order. 


The person or persons who have interpreted the above to mean ‘Vide his letter dated 11.5.2004, he misrepresented to CIL that the work has not been outsourced to M/S TCG’ are either illiterate or malicious or both. How can presenting the truth be a ‘misrepresentation’ is beyond one’s imagination, unless it is clear that some people felt the urgent need to blame some people in IITKGP and stop this project.


The reason to stop this project is obvious. Instead of a Rs 30 crore ERP, now CIL is planning for a Rs 1000+ crore ERP from various outside vendors. Projects to IIT will not provide people at various places to be suitably ‘greased’. (The CBI report clearly says that there is no evidence of any financial irregularity in the IIT matter.). This is the real scam which no one seems to be interested to investigate. Why? Because a set of influential people and lots of money is involved? A working home-grown ERP, a national asset, is lost. An honest Professor of highest caliber is maligned.


The CBI report themselves state that the report is ‘not to be relied upon’. They state that CVC is informed but CVC has not bothered to come back to IIT since 2007. These add strength to why there is no meat to this matter by the people who have the power to investigate.


Also, since 2007, IITKGP has been unable to close this matter till 2012. Why? Who is responsible, even after everyone knew that Prof PPC was being falsely maligned?


There was no issue at MHRD when Prof Anil Bhowmik, the earlier Dean SRIC during whose tenure this 2001 order was issued became Director, IIT Patna. Why there is any issue now? That too, for a person who did the right things?


Media takes it up along with Prof Rajeev Kumar and his mentor at MHRD (see latest NDTV news) only when Prof PPC is being considered as Director of IITKGP so as to set up a systematic campaign against the person who did the right things, spoke the truth and gave the correct information. Why?


Akshaya Mukul and Basant Mohanty have all the inputs. But they will not write the truth. They have their own masters to serve after all and the trail is long, deep-rooted, far and near. They have to be exposed like Prof Kumar and his cohorts elsewhere.



1 comment:

  1. Request readers to spare some time for the post

    I share pain with all such victims and present below what happens to greats who are targeted by mischiefs in media. These are excerpts of Mark Twain speech "Freedom of Press", delivered on March 31, 1873 (annotated by Paul Schindler).

    "It is a free press — a press that is more than free — a press which is licensed to say any infamous thing it chooses about a private or a public man, or advocate any outrageous doctrine it pleases ... There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press. A libel suit simply brings the plaintiff before a vast newspaper court to be tried before the law tries him, and reviled and ridiculed without mercy ... It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals ... It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people — who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations — do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies...Among us, the newspaper is a tremendous power. It can make or mar any man's reputation. It has perfect freedom to call the best man in the land a fraud and a thief, and he is destroyed beyond help. ...I am personally acquainted with hundreds of journalists, and the opinion of the majority of them would not be worth tuppence in private, but when they speak in print it is the newspaper that is talking (the pygmy scribe is not visible) and then their utterances shake the community like the thunders of prophecy. I know from personal experience the proneness of journalists to lie."

    Fortunately, citizens have a voice today, however feeble, through internet, through such posts which are read by few unlike millions of a mighty newspaper. Hope that such voice will also be heard. A democratic Government which is by the people, for the people will reach out more to those who suffer in silence - the sient majority and will not be swayed by the high and mighty.