MU VC in-charge urges HRD ministry to restrain Prof Pandey


IMPHAL,5th Sep: Amid outcries from various sections of the society against alleged arbitrary conduct of vice-chancellor Prof AP Pandey, Manipur University Vice Chancellor in-charge Professor Vishwanath has requested the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to initiate action against Professor AP Pandey so as to prevent any interference in the enquiry initiated against the VC. On Wednesday, Prof Vishwanath submitted a written complaint to the Secretary of MHRD, conveying the present situation in MU and the actions of AP Pandey that could potentially cause interference in the enquiry process.

The complaint stated that the University has been functioning properly since its doors reopened on August 23, after an MOA was signed between the MU community and the MHRD. During a short time, results of the 6th semester examinations of all affiliated colleges were declared and process for admission in MA and MSc courses of the university were taken up.

As per the points agreed in the MOA and with the permission of the Chancellor, an order was issued by the registrar i/c on September 1, extending Professor Pandey’s leave till completion of the enquiry. In addition, another order was issued by the registrar i/c ordering the VC i/c (Professor Vishwanath) to continue holding the post, as per the instruction of the Chancellor.

The Manipur University Act 2005, Clause 12 (2) of the Act states that ‘The Chancellor shall, by virtue of his office, be the head of the University...” and Statute 1 (2), states: “The Chancellor shall hold office for a term of five years and shall not be eligible for reappointment: Provided that notwithstanding the expiry of his term of office, the Chancellor shall continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office”.

Although the Chancellor, Professor Nachane Dilip Madhukar had already completed five years in office in 2016, he continues to hold the office till date and the University has been bearing all relevant expenditures.

Professor Pandey’s actions of issuing a notice stating that he has resumed office and an order banning MUSU and MUTA along with showing disrespect towards the enquiry committee by attempting to malign the reputation of a retired Chief Justice are serious acts. In addition, Prof Pandey also issued a notice to Manipur Police DGP to prevent MUSU and MUTA from agitating within the campus. As a result, the Magistrate concerned issued an order to check the IDs of students, teachers and staffers entering the university.

The University belongs to all related with academics and it has adequate security. As such, a written statement had also been sent to the Magistrate in this regard. Professor Pandey’s actions depict that he is more concerned about the enquiry than the welfare of the University and if he were to continue his irresponsible actions, the academic atmosphere of the university could be disrupted. Thus, the Ministry must take up appropriate action against Professor AP Pandey so that he may not cause interference in the enquiry and to maintain normalcy in the university, conveyed the compliant of the VC i/c.

Decrying their actions against the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between the MU community and Joint Secretary (JS) of Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) in presence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) general secretary Kenedy has categorically stated that Prof Pandey and Professor M Shyamkesho are enemies of Manipuri people.

Addressing a press conference at MUSU’s office located within MU campus here Wednesday, Kenedy recalled that the MOA was signed at the CM’s Secretariat on August 16. However, Prof Pandey and Prof Shyamkesho issued several orders on September 1 in defiance of the said MOA, he added. Condemning the actions of the two professors, the general secretary equated their actions as disrespecting the people of Manipur and added that MUSU considers them as enemies of the people. It is also unfortunate that the MHRD and the state government have failed to take up any actions against the two for violating the MOA, he lamented.

If no action can be taken against them, then the officials who were present during the signing of the MOA should resign from their respective posts immediately, Kenedy demanded and cautioned that MUSU along with the people will take the matter into their own hands, if the state government also fails to take up against the two professors.

Stating that the notices issued by Prof AP Pandey and Prof M Shyamkesho on September 1 have confused the students, Kenedy said that it has also caused MU to look like a university with two VCs and two registrars. As such, MUSU along with various CSOs, Meira Paibis and local Clubs would be launching intense agitations from Thursday onwards, Kenedy announced, while cautioning that the people would initiate action against the two as the government has failed to do so in time.

Welcoming the Independent Inquiry Committee, MUSU hoped that the committee will bring out the truth about the allegations levelled against Prof Pandey. The union further declared that it did not recognise the VC and registrar i/c who are functioning out of the MU campus.

Meanwhile, Committee of Political Parties convener RK Anand has termed the fresh ruckus created by professor Pandey while the state government and the HRD ministry are striving hard to bring normalcy in Manipur University as a direct challenge to the government and demanded the government to ban him from such activities.

Addressing a press conference at Congress Bhawan in the presence of representatives of different political parties, ex-MLA RK Anand said that the nearly three-month long shutdown of Manipur University was suspended following an agreement signed between the MU community and representative of HRD ministry in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Even as the ministry constituted enquiry committee is in the process of initiating the probe, resuming service in violating of the agreement and taking up certain steps by the VC has brought the university on the brink of another shutdown. Such challenge by the VC is highly condemnable and the committee strongly oppose such actions, he said.

Considering the graveness of the situation, the state government should take up immediate measures and ban AP Pandey from indulging in such anti-people activities, he demanded. He also observed that such challenging action has the potential to create chaos in the state and bring the university to another shutdown.

On the other hand, condemning the assault of AMSU leader by some NSCN-IM cadres at Nungba, the former Congress MLA said that the state government should enforce its rule of law and counter such crimes as the ceasefire agreement between NSCN-IM and Centre is not applicable in the state. At the same time, Centre should take up necessary actions or issue advisory against NSCN-IM to refrain from any activities, which violate the ground rules of the agreement, he demanded.

CPI leader ex-MP Dr M Nara said that the committee is not a political alliance to fight BJP in the election. It was formed to fight the failed policies of the BJP government in the state and the issues being faced by the state and its people. It is not the first time the NDA government is meddling in internal issues of universities. There are many such incidents in different universities across the country. Resuming service against the decision of the HRD ministry and issuing orders banning MUTA and MUSA is a challenge to the people of the state. At the same time, his arrogance also shows that he is getting support from some powerful persons who are standing behind him, Dr Nara remarked.

The society always experience unrest and uncertainty whenever there is a BJP rule, Dr Nara said while terming BJP as a party, which has no regard for democracy and its principle. Such arrogance on the part of BJP has led to the formation of the committee, he added.

Former MU VC ex-MLA Dr Ng Bijoy while calling AP Pandey a liar, said that the denial of getting office notification regarding the agreement and subsequent extension of his leave as claimed by the VC himself is baseless since the notifications clearly mentioned the registrar in-charge forwarding copies to his office as well as to him. As per the agreement, the enquiry committee should complete its probe within one month and submit its report within 15 days. His leave was also extended until the enquiry committee submit its report, he pointed out.

Another notification for extension of his leave was issued with the approval of the chancellor on September 3. However, AP Pandey is rejecting the notification without any regard of the University Act. His allegation of transferring nodal officer by the VC in-charge is also baseless and sealing his office during the enquiry period is in accordance with law, he said. Terming his actions as anti-government and anti-people, he demanded the chief minister to use his power to maintain law and order stating that the agreement was made under his supervision.

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