Row over S&T Museum director�s qualification Monday October 15 2007 12:26 ISTB.Sreejan
T�PURAM: On the lines of a controversy about the educational qualification of former Kerala University Vice-Chancellor J.V. Vilanilam that had stormed the state for months, a debate on the basic educational qualification and the date of birth of Science and Technology Museum director S.L.P. Mahamood was kicked off last week in the form of a public interest litigation in the High Court.
The supporting evidence submitted by the petitioner Kunnukuzhy Suresh, working president of the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum Employees Union, proves that the director had used two different dates of birth in the official records.
A more shocking revelation is that Mahamood could not pass the SSLC examination but managed to acquire BSc and MTech degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
Mahamood replied to a query under the Right to Information Act on June 5, this year, that he had passed SSLC in 1974 from Govt Boys High School, Madayi, Kannur and his date of birth was December 1, 1957.
But according to the records available in the school, the candidate named S.L.P.Mahamood got only 191 marks out of 600 in the SSLC examinations. The school did not have any record about Mahamood�s re-appearence in the SSLC examination.
The register number provided by Mahamood in response to the RTI query was 59931 but that number belonged to another candidate Abdul Rahman C.M., who wrote the SSLC examination from the same school in 1974.
Moreover, there is a contradiction in the DoB of Mahamood in the SSLC book and the service book. December 1, 1958, has been provided by Mahamood as the date of birth in the service book, biodata and in the application forms for MTech and LLB courses.
The petitioners alleged that the selection of Mahamood as the director of the museum was in violation of all norms.
The copies of government files regarding the selection of S&T Museum director clearly suggest that S.L.P. Mahamood and the two other candidates shortlisted were ineligible for the director�s post.
Ignoring the advice of the selection committee, Mahamood was appointed the director.
Then Education Minister E.T. Mohammed Basheer admitted in the Assembly on March 28, 2005 that then director of S&T Museum did not have the necessary qualification.
But, the same person was again selected as the director within two months.
The High Court had admitted the petition and sent notices to the government, S&T museum and its director.