Teachers and civil society organizations on Wednesday vehemently opposed incumbent North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) Vice Chancellor, Prof SK Srivastava’s decision to convene the academic council meeting. The teachers and organisations alleged the meeting was an attempt to amend the statute for his own personal benefits.
Prof Srivastava is on extension after his five-year term as VC has expired on September 23, earlier this year.
However, Prof Srivastava, being only a caretaker till the new VC is appointed, has called for an online meeting of the academic council on Thursday to allegedly amend the statute sub-clause 2A (2) of Satute-2 which relates to the expiry of the term of the VC.
The three associations – Meghalaya Tribal Teachers’ Association (MeTTA), North-Eastern Hill University Teachers’ Association (NEHUTA) and Meghalaya Confederation for Academic Welfare (MeCAW) – termed the move as a ploy to prolong his stay as VC of NEHU.
They also appealed to all members of the academic council not to allow the incumbent VC taking up the proposed amendment as he no longer has any statutory powers to decide on policy matters as caretaker VC.
“We have also written to the ministry concerned demanding the immediate cancellation of the academic council meeting; failing of which we will be compelled to seek the intervention of the President of India, who is the Visitor of the University,” MeCAW chairman, Roykuman Synrem told reporters at a news conference.
He said that the attempt to amend the statute by the incumbent VC was highly irregular and against the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s circular/notification issued on August 7, 2014.
The circular clearly stated: “An officer appointed to perform current duties of an appointment can exercise administrative or financial power but he cannot exercise statutory powers, whether those powers are derived directly from an act of parliament.”
“Thus, this attempt by the VC should not be accepted as it involves a conflict of interest and reflects mala fide intention on his party. Therefore, we request the intervention of the ministry by instructing the VC to stop the process of amendment to this sub-clause of statute-2 immediately which will have long-term repercussions in the quality development and interest of the university,” Synrem said.
The MeCAW chairman further alleged that, in the last five years, everyone has seen NEHU has become a den of corruption and rank of university has fallen because of malpractices and all round failure of Prof Srivastava.
He said the three associations also demanded the search cum selection committee to fast track the completion of selection of a new VC in order to save the university from further ruin.