For 15 yrs, Bihar education minister draws prof salary without teaching

A serving professor at a government college, Bihar education minister Dr Chandra Shekhar has not taught a single class in the last 15 years.

Patna | Updated: 06 April, 2023 4:51 pm IST
Bihar education minister Dr Chandra Shekhar Kumar teaches Zoology at Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav College in Aurangabad — albeit only on papers.

Bihar education minister Dr Chandra Shekhar Kumar, who stirred controversy by accusing Hindu religious text Ramcharitmanas of “spreading hatred in society”, has been receiving salary without teaching a single class at a government-run college in Aurangabad for the last 15 days.

Minister Kumar, a leader of Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), has been teaching in the Zoology department at Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav College in Aurangabad — albeit only on papers.

According to college principal Dr Vijay Rajak the RJD leader used to teach classes at the college before becoming a legislator 15 years ago, after which his visits to the college decreased. Notwithstanding his non-attendance, the education minister continues to receive salary from the state exchequer.

“He has not taught a single class since he got elected as a legislator 15 years back,” said the college principal, showing his attendance records to The New Indian.

The attendance status against his name in the college’s official attendance register for teachers and professor remains blank for the past 15 years.

The controversy arose when it was discovered that Dr Kumar’s name was not even listed in the attendance register of the college for the past 15 years.

Dr. Chandra Shekhar, who earlier served as the minister for disaster management, has been representing the Madhepura segment in the Legislative Assembly since 2010. He joined the college in 1985 and is set to superannuate as an assistant professor in March 2026.

Quality of education continues to be a major issue in Bihar, with many influential teachers and staff members at government-run institutions abstaining from their duties with impunity.

“The absence of a professor from a government college is not shocking for Bihar. But when it is done by the person who controls policies and workflow of the entire education system in Bihar is indeed shocking and painful – particularly at a time when the state of affairs in the education sector is in doldrums,” said an activist, wishing not to be named.

A professor teaching at a reputed college in capital Patna called the minister’s absence from the college as a “criminal offence”. “Such an act is a criminal offence and he (the minister) should ideally be booked under the relevant law,” the professor told The New Indian on the condition of anonymity.

In January this year, Dr Kumar stoked controversy after stating that books like Ramcharitmanas, a Hindu religious book based on the Ramayana, spread hatred just as ‘Manusmriti’ and former RSS chief MS Golwalkar’s ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ created a social divide.

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