Teachers and postgraduate students of Manipur University have been on a strike since May 31. The students demand that the Vice Chancellor, Aditya Prasad Pandey should resign immediately.
Students claim that the VC only visits the campus 10 days a month, which causes a delay in a lot of administrative work of the University. The VC has also been accused of attempting to saffronise the university, along with administrative neglect and carelessness.
The students had submitted a charter of their demands to the University administration, but when no actions were taken, they decided to go on a strike on 30th May.
Dr. Irom Gambhir, an associate professor in the University, told Newsclick, “The students have been on strike for the past 43 days, this has affected affiliated colleges of the university, and in turn the entire state.” He further added that the issue must not be politicised and the concerned bodies should act immediately without wasting any more time.
According to a TV news channel, the students have also demanded that educational activities in the university be improved. The channel also reported that there are 151 vacancies in the faculty and students demand that these vacancies be filled.
Students claim that people are being given administrative positions on contract basis, and the selection process is influenced by the VC’s personal biases. According to reports, exam controllers, registrars and librarians are being hired on a temporary basis, which is causing a delay in the decision making process as all decisions are being taken by the vice chancellor.
The President of the Manipur students union, M. Dayaman told a national newspaper that they want the irresponsible vice chancellor to be removed, as he is responsible for the university administration being degenerated. He added, “Important posts such as registrar and exam controller are given to people who can’t make any decisions themselves, and require permission from the VC, who has created such conditions deliberately.”
The situation heated up on Monday when the chairmen of 28 departments resigned, and 5 deans resigned from their respective academic schools.
The Manipur University Teachers’ Association made various allegations against the VC, including that he takes leaves on arbitrary dates, without clarifying the date of his return. This causes a delay in a lot of academic and administrative work.
Meanwhile, due to the strike, there has been a delay in the declaration of undergraduate examination results and the verification of certificates of students for enrolment in post-graduation, and placements has been stalled.
Professors of Manipur University say that they won’t get back to work until the VC resigns from his post.