Manipur University Vice-Chancellor Adya Pandey, who was sent on a 30-day leave since August 2, following a massive movement of students and teachers against him over allegations ranging from administrative negligence to misuse of varsity funds, rejoined for his duty by banning the employees’ bodies.
While the Manipur University community has warned that if the authority fails to take any action against the VC before September 4, they would resume their shutdown strike which was temporarily called off on August 22. The warning was issued shortly after the VC submitted his rejoining letter to the registrar of the university, despite a pending independent enquiry. Pandey reportedly informed the university administration that he has resumed his duty with immediate effect from Saturday.
Shortly after Pandey had taken over the charge, he issued an order banning the Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and Manipur University Staffs’ Association (MUSA). The ban order stated that the existence of MUTA and MUSA are against the MU Act 2005- the “act to establish and incorporate a teaching and affiliating University in the state of Manipur and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”
“MUTA and MUSA are found to be directly involved in subversive activities leading to the current turmoil and creation of indiscipline in the University campus, violating the provision of the MU Act,” the order said. Besides, the employees of the university have also been warned of disciplinary action if found indulging in any such activities.
“The move, however, is a total violation of the agreement signed between the MU Community and the Ministry of Human Resource Development on August 16, in the presence of the Chief Minister”, Irom Tomba, the president of MUTA told Newsclick.
The inquiry is to commence only from September 6. Then, how did he return to the post even as the inquiry remains pending?
Raising similar concerns, the three different bodies- MUTA, MUSA and MUSU (Manipur University Students’ Union) have called a meeting to discuss the future course of action. “The MU community is holding a meeting today to discuss the further course of action,” Tomba said.
Also, the exams that were postponed from June 6, were supposed to commence from today. The new move from the VC has affected the exams and the whole system, he added.
On August 16, an agreement had been signed between the MU Community and the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the presence of the Chief Minister- on the condition that an impartial inquiry would be instituted into the charges leveled against the VC and that he would be on leave during the inquiry, until the final verdict is pronounced.
The inquiry panel was constituted after the state government had approached the HRD Ministry requesting the same. Following this, the Ministry had constituted an independent two-member committee headed by T. Nandakumar, former acting Chief Justice of Meghalaya and M.K. Choudhary, former Vice-chancellor of Tezpur University.
As the agreement had been signed, the MU community had temporarily suspended their 85-day long struggle on August 22. The MUSU had started the protest, which later had been joined by the MUTA and MUSA, since May 30 of this year, demanding the replacement of the VC Adya Prasad Pandey who had been holding that post since October 2016. During the protest, the varsity had witnessed a complete shutdown. As the MUSU president, Dayaman pointed out earlier, the VC had not appointed a regular registrar, librarian, examination controller and curator. He had instead appointed in-charges who are unable to work without the VC’s permission, while the VC hardly stays in the varsity. Also, the MUSU president added that the VC had appointed various staff members without following proper guidelines.
However, the MU community is certain that if there is no response for their demands, they will resume their strike.