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Pondicherry varsity students, teachers to fast against V-C today

University warns of stern action against participants.

With over 200 academics, students and non-teaching staff gearing up for a “fast for the sins of Vice-Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy” at Pondicherry Central University on Monday, the administration has issued an order to all department heads directing them not to sanction any leave on Monday unless it is for a medical emergency with a valid medical certificate.

The order issued by the University Registrar on Saturday came close on the heels of a token protest, a rally of more than 200 academics on Saturday seeking immediate ousting of V-C Krishnamurthy who is facing a number of charges including an illegal detention of a student for over 27 hours besides charges of plagiarism, allegedly producing a bogus CV before the V-C selection panel and a number of irregularities in the appointments and new off-campus centres.

Warning that “availing of leave en masse is construed as strike in terms of Conduct Rules”, the circular published on the university website said those who participate in the “fasting protest” on Monday will face severe disciplinary action. Meantime, replying to the letter, N Dastagiri Reddy, general secretary of the Pondicherry University Teachers Association said the latest circular was intimidating in nature. “The administration is resorting to unfair measures to subdue the democratic voices of teachers and students,” his reply said.

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Dissent and anger had been brewing in the campus ever since Krishnamurthy took charge as V-C in February 2013. Besides a dozen charges of irregularities and fraud in her CV had been unearthed by students and faculty in the last two years, her appointment as V-C itself was challenged before the Madras High Court questioning her qualification. Several petitions had been sent to Union HRD Ministry for flouting rules in her selection in November 2012 as she had no qualification required for the V-C post while the then HRD minister Pallam Raju had recommended her name on December 10, 2012 to the President instead of submitting a list of three names chosen by the V-C search panel.

In November 2014, The Indian Express reported plagiarism charges raised against V-C Krishnamurthy after a scientific plagiarism check on her book found that most chapters in her book were lifted verbatim from papers written by eminent legal scholars in the country.

Reddy said that they expect an immediate intervention from the HRD minister Smriti Irani as the academic system in the university has been totally derailed under V-C Krishnamurthy.

A senior university official said the V-C sent notices to department heads to produce the attendance details from all teaching and non-teaching heads by 11am on Monday to take immediate action.

First published on: 20-04-2015 at 01:49:28 am
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