The selection of Chairman for the Goa State Research Foundation was done without following the established procedure and protocol. This has been revealed in the information obtained by Adv. Aires Rodrigues under RTI from the Directorate of Higher Education.
The documents reveal that despite it being a very high ranking statutory position on par with Vice Chancellor of a University or Director of IIT and IIMs there was no fair opportunity given to aspiring candidates as the post was not advertised nor a search committee set up.
As per the file notings Diwan Rane, Consultant (Admin) at the Directorate of Higher Education on 19th September last year moved a note recommending to Government four names for the position in order of merit which were Dr. M.K.Janarthanam a retired Senior Goa University Professor, Dr Satish Shetye and Dr Varun Sahani both former Vice Chancellors of Goa University besides Dr. B.R. Srinivasan a retired Senior Professor of Goa University. The note does not elaborate as to on what basis the four were recommended and how Dr. M.K.Janarthanam tops that list on merit.
Later the Director of Higher Education Prasad Lolayekar in his noting observed that Dr.Satish Shetye had crossed the age limit of 70 and cannot be considered while further stating that Dr. M.K.Janarthanam may be nominated as he is aware about entire system and that he can take along entire team while also stating that he is a well known researcher and maintained excellent relations with all stakeholders. Interestingly, Prasad Lolayekar in his note was silent about the other two candidates proposed for the post.
The proposal was approved by the Chief Minister on 18th October and the government on 13th December issued a notification appointing Dr. M.K.Janarthanam as Chairperson of Goa State Research Foundation for a period of three years with effect from 1st January 2023.
Reacting to the RTI information, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today alleged that this politically influenced and motivated mode of appointment was just another example of distinct favoritism which is now synonymous with the BJP while the government had sadly bypassed senior and highly qualified Goans based in Goa and overseas.
Stating that Dr. M.K.Janarthanam is known to be extremely close to the RSS and its Science & Technology wing Vidnyan Bharti, Adv. Rodrigues has pointed out that the appointment was absolutely bad in law, having been done by nomination and not by screening or selection in a very transparent manner as was required by law.