MU community dissatisfied to new HRD’s enquiry committee


Pothashang News Service: Imphal, August 18, 2018: Manipur university students, teachers and staff have shown dissactisfaction against the HRD’s Fact Finding Committee reconstituted to enquire into the financial and administrative irregularities allegedly committed by vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey.

The varsity community has been demanding ouster of the vice-chancellor. Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) launched agitation on May 30. Later the Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and the Manipur University Staffs’ Association (MUSA) joined the shut down strike which was launched on June 6.

In due course the HRD ministry constituted a fact finding committee lead by T. Nandakumar Singh, former acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya with UGC joint secretary J.K. Tripathi and deputy secretary, department of higher education, HRD ministry, Surat Singh.

This fact finding committee was opposed and demanded an ‘independent’ enquiry committee.

After three days (On August 14, 15 and 16) meeting between the varsity community and the representatives of central and state governments it was agreed to reconstitute the fact finding committed by substituting the HRD officials with a retired vice-chancellor.

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Following which the HRD ministry on Friday passed an order of reconstitution of fact finding committee of the enquiry.

The order signed by Vijay Kumar, under secretary to the government of India stated that
a two member enquiry committee to enquire into allegations against Pandey.

The committee comprises of T. Nandakumar Singh and Prof M.K. Choudhary, former vice-chancellor of Tezpur University.

It stated that the committee would be free to devise its own procedure for conducting the
enquiry. However, while formulating the final conclusion, the committee would rationally consider the response of the concerned persons in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

The enquiry committee may for the purpose visit the university and its various offices/ premises, inspect such documents as it may consider necessary, and take copies thereof,  record statement and have discussion with all the stakeholders in this regard. The committee shall submit its report within one month from the date of issue of the order.

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Pandey will appear before the committee as and when necessary. All secretariat assistance to the committee will be provided by the university and the registrar of the university will be the nodal person to provide required assistance to the committee. The expenditure towards TA/DA/honorarium of the members of the committee will be borne by the university, added the order.

We are utterly shocked by the blatant violation of the agreements reached upon’ said the university community in a press note.

While the agreement was for an ‘independent two member committee’, the ministry has just constituted a two member committee by conveniently dropping the term ‘independent’. Further in all the parleys, the issue of leave of Pandey has been the most contentious one. In the light of recent general anguish relating to inspection of a college in Kohima by an UGC Team headed by Pandey as vice-chancellor of Manipur University and after tremendous efforts on the mutually acceptable terms of leave, it was agreed in the meeting chaired by the chief minister of Manipur that “..during the period of inquiry and until follow up action on the inquiry report by the competent authority preferably within a period of 15 days Prof A P Pandey will be on leave.” But in a crude and blatant manner, the issue of leave has been completely left out of the order. We strongly feel that these two non-honouring of the items of the Agreement as clear violations of the mutual understanding and thus amounting to breach of trust. We also feel that this amounts to insulting all of us including the chief minister, said the statement signed the varsity community leaders.

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“The order clearly violates the mutual understanding  It is an insult to the varsity community as well as to the chief minister of Manipur,”said Manipur University Teachers’ Association, its spokesperson, Debananda Ningthoujam .


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