The Meghalaya Confederation for Academic Welfare (MeCAW) has sought the immediate removal of the Vice Chancellor of the North Eastern Hill University, Prof SK Srivastava and staged a protest march at the NEHU campus towards this end today.
Memorandums were also submitted to the President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal (Nishank) for their necessary intervention into the matter.
“We demand the immediate removal of Prof Srivastava as his leadership has failed tremendously,” MeCAW convener, Roykupar Synrem said at the sidelines of this protest march.
Justifying this, Synrem said that while the UGC had recognized NEHU as a university with potential for excellence in 2006, the university’s all India rank has now dropped to 74. He also said that Srivastava’s unpopularity can be seen from the number of protests that have been staged by teachers and students ever since he took over as VC.
“Therefore, we demand the Centre to fast track completion of the process for appointment of vice chancellor by the search cum selection committee. We proposed that the new vice chancellor should be from among the homegrown professors of NEHU,” Synrem said.
Pointing out that NEHU has had only one local tribal VC, namely (L) Prof Barrister Pakem since its establishment in 1973, Synrem said that it is high time that another local tribal is given the chance to be at the helm of NEHU’s affairs.
Synrem further said the Forum also demanded the restoration of the Heads of department in English and Political Science, who were removed without any reason by the incumbent vice chancellor.
They also demanded an investigation against all cases of corruption and to fix responsibility against those involved in these acts. Pointing to the state of affairs in this regard, Synrem said that Srivastava has introduced a new system in NEHU wherein tenderees are asked to quote 10% below the quoted value of a tender.
In this backdrop, MeCAW stressed the need for a thorough investigation into all work allotted in NEHU during the five years of Srivastava’s tenure.
Adding to this, Synrem said, “As Prof Srivastava failed to fill up teachers’ vacancies in all the departments and the departments functioned in less than optimum faculty strength, the quality and quantity of teaching, research and other important activities have gone down, for which his administrative inefficiency and poor leadership are solely responsible.”