EXPRESSING CONCERNS over the deteriorating conditions on the Manipur University campus, the BJP-led state government has requested the Centre to send the Vice-Chancellor (V-C) on leave and, also, institute an inquiry into the allegations against him.
Manipur University V-C Adya Prasad Pandey is facing calls for resignation over allegations ranging from administrative negligence to misuse of varsity funds. Pandey has claimed that the accusations are motivated and refused to step down from his post.
The student agitation, led by the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), has paralysed the institution for more than a month. Throwing their weight behind the protests, all the deans and heads of departments have resigned. Examinations, as a result, have been delayed. Things took a turn for the worse on July 7 when a fire broke out in the office of the assistant director of sports. Several documents were damaged in the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown.
The Manipur government wrote to the HRD Ministry on Tuesday drawing the Centre’s attention to “ugly turn” that the impasse on campus has taken. Warning of a “law and order” problem, it has asked the ministry to send Pandey on leave and set up a “high-level inquiry” into the allegations against him. In the V-C’s absence, the state authorities want the Centre to appoint a pro V-C to run the university, The Indian Express has learnt.
Pandey, a professor of economics at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), was appointed as the head of Manipur University by the BJP-led government at the Centre in October 2016. He still has a little over three years left in his term.
Students have alleged that Pandey is inaccessible to the, spends little time on campus, has misused university funds and meetings of the university’s Executive Council. The V-C, on the other hand, has attributed the agitation to him rejecting the MUSU’s demand for Rs 10.7 lakh to print their annual magazine.
The ministry had rushed its joint secretary, G C Hosur, to the university last month to asses the situation on campus. However, not much has changed since then, in fact only turned worse, prompting the state government’s request to send the V-C on leave.