Sunday, May 25, 2003
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In a joint statement issued today, they also demanded a probe into the selection process as there was corruption, nepotism and misuse of public money behind it. The signatories to the statement were K.S.Viswambharadas, V.Rajakrishnan, G.N.Panicker, Kowdiar Ramachandran, M.P.Sadasivan, Chemboor Sukumaran Nair, Dominic Kattoor, N.Ajith Kumar, S.N.Kurup, P.Narayana Kurup and C.Udayakala.
The fellowships consisting of monthly payments of Rs 6,000 in the junior category and Rs 12,000 in the senior category for a period of two years were meant to be awarded to top writers at the national level for writing new books. Many prominent Malayalam writers were among the applicants.
They charged the Secretary of the Akademi with having appointed a junior poet without doctoral degree or experience in teaching post-graduates as the one-member judging committee for selecting the persons for the fellowships. It had already been questioned in the media. The Secretary also imposed a new condition that those in Government service were not eligible for the fellowships. They alleged that it was to help a retired person. They contended that the selection process was completed in suspicious haste, violating the law and convention right when the new administrative committee was in the process of taking over the control of the Akademi. The Secretary himself sent the order ignoring the objections of some members of the administrative committee.
They pointed out that the Secretary had in his write-up on the issue in a Malayalam journal claimed to have gone out of the way to meet the expenditure including air fare of one of the signatories to the statement to enable him to attend a programme organised by the Akademi and that he expected gratitude for that.
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