Updated: August 20, 2018 1:29:27 pm
As the hunger strike of students at Central University of Rajasthan (CUR) entered its ninth day Tuesday, the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) assured them that a permanent Vice-Chancellor would be appointed at the university “soon.”
“The MHRD told the university that a permanent V-C will be appointed soon, but the students did not call off the strike,” said Anuradha Mittal, spokesperson for the university, which is in Kishangarh town of Ajmer district.
Four students —- who were suspended Monday —- have been sitting on hunger strike outside the administrative block Since September 14, demanding that a permanent V-C be appointed. Supported by hundreds of students, the strike has affected classes on campus.
Best of Express Premium
“Students were warned and were invited for a talk by the acting V-C at 2 pm Monday, but it was not accepted by them. Later, top officials decided to suspend the students on hunger strike —- Yadvendra Singh Shekhawat, Ravi Mandia, Purshottam Jhoratia and Mahesh Choudhary,” the PRO said.
The students say that ever since the tenure of Prof M M Salunkhe, the founder V-C, ended in March last year, after his appointment in 2009, the university has not had a permanent V-C, which is affecting day-to-day functioning of the varsity.
Mandia, one of those suspended, told The Indian Express, “The university has barely any functional facilities. The situation is worsened in the absence of a permanent V-C as the acting V-C’s authority is restricted.”
Mandia called off his hunger strike after his condition worsened on Sunday, and was replaced by another student.
According to a clarification from MHRD dated October 9, 2014, acting V-Cs cannot amend statutes, bring new ordinance or amend existing ones, create new posts, appoint permanent teaching and non-teaching staff, among other things.
“In the last year and a half, the situation has worsened. Whenever we took an issue to the V-C, he would say he is helpless as he has no powers,” said Mahesh Choudhary, a research scholar, one of the four on hunger strike.
“There is water shortage in the hostel and college. The quality of food at the mess and canteen is poor. Even internet facilities are lacking,” added Mandia, an MSc final-year student.
“(Acting) Vice Chancellor Prof. A P Singh has said that sincere efforts are being made to solve the water problem. The university is in touch with authorities and exploring internal water sources. The problem of water scarcity will be resolved soon,” Anuradha said. “Students have been told that the appointment of the permanent V-C is neither in the purview of the Vice-Chancellor nor the faculty, staff or students, but the President of India.”
On Tuesday, representatives from the district administration, including the ADM and SDM, unsuccessfully tried to resolve the matter.
The university, about 80 km from Jaipur, was set up in 2009 as a central university.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.