ALL is not well in North Eastern Hill University,the oldest central university of the region,in Shillong. When HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju visited Shillong last weekend,the teachers association and non-teaching staff association of the university not only called for a judicial probe into anomalies in faculty appointments,but also demanded that vice-chancellor Prof A N Rai should not be allowed to take up his next appointment.
The university as a corporate body has suffered large-scale damage due to gross irregularities and statutory violations in the conduct of administrative business leading to a series of disturbances, a joint memorandum submitted by the two bodies to the Union minister said. They also said that there have been numerous anomalies in selection of faculty,leading to at least 50 litigations in the past few years. Appointments made involved nepotism and favouritism at the cost of quality and academic environment. There was also large-scale corruption in construction and contract works awarded during this period, the two associations said.
They also alleged that a sum of about Rs 2 crore was diverted from the universitys funds towards an Indian Science Congress conference in 2009 without any sanction. A huge sum was also spent in setting up the University Scientific Instrumentation Centre,which has remained defunct for several years. The university,set up in 1973,also has no elected representatives from the teaching and non-teaching staff in its academic council,executive council and university court,the associations said.
They also held past vice-chancellor Prof P Tandon and present vice-chancellor Prof A N Rai responsible for the deteriorating environment on campus which according to them is supplied with untreated and un-purified water despite a several crore rupee investment in a water treatment plant. The present vice-chancellor even appointed a pro-VC to act as chairman of a committee where he himself was a candidate for selection to the higher academic grade. This is a gross violation of procedure, Pallam Raju was told.
Rai has been appointed by UGC as director of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in Bangalore. When contacted,he dismissed the allegations . If they have any complaint against me,then they should be able to substantiate that. Moreover,since the President is the Visitor of the university,they should go to him, Rai said over the telephone. He said he had already sent his resignation letter to the President of India so that he could join as director NAAC.