University of Madras has replaced its registrar following a controversy over a rigged exam. T Leo Alexander, holding charge as registrar since June 2011, has been relieved of his post after a committee found him and 50 other university staff responsible for lapses in the 2011 BE/BTech and distance education exams. Koteeswara Prasad, former head of the university's department of politics and public administration, has taken over the administrator's post.
Prasad occupies the Rajiv Gandhi chair instituted by the Union government in the university. The action comes in the wake of demands for disciplinary action against Alexander and the others after a syndicate meeting upheld a panel report that indicted them in the exam scandal at one of India's oldest universities. Allegations of irregularities in BE/BTech and distance education exams surfaced following an internal audit in mid-2011.
The audit found that many officials were involved in malpractices, which benefited more than 200 students who took a re-exam last year after failing to clear their papers more than 10 years ago. When contacted, Alexander refused to comment. He continues to be the controller of exams. Vice-chancellor G Thiruvasagam had constituted the K Subburaj committee to go into the allegations again after the S Karunanidhi commission in December 2011 found 30 officials responsible for the lapses.
The Subburaj committee upheld the findings of the earlier report and added 21 names, including that of Alexander who was the controller of exams when the irregularities took place.