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Meghalaya: NEHU Teachers, Staff Protest Against VC, Gain Widespread Support

The JAC announced intensification of their struggle for the overall betterment of the university, as the NEHU Student’s Union also supported them.
the JAC announced intensification of their struggle for the overall betterment of the university, as the NEHU Student’s Union also supported them.

The North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Meghalaya. Image Courtesy:

Delhi: In a resolute move, the Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising several prominent statutory associations of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Meghalaya, has decided to escalate their ongoing protest against Vice-Chancellor Prof Prabha Shankar Shukla, ushering in a new wave of dissent.

The JAC has chosen to adopt a non-cooperation strategy, starting with the forthcoming Academic Council meeting, as their grievances remain unaddressed, Northeast Now reported.

In an official statement, the JAC announced a significant development in their struggle for the overall betterment of the university, as the NEHU Student’s Union (NEHUSU) has officially thrown its weight behind the cause. The Meghalaya Tribal Teacher’s Association (MeTTA) has also extended support, fortifying the JAC's resolve.

At the core of their demands is the removal of Rohit Prasad, a contractual Technical Officer/Senior Consultant whose appointment has been deemed illegal. The JAC's ultimatum to remove Prasad, set forth in a letter dated October 19, has lapsed.

In a surprising turn of events, the Vice-Chancellor has chosen to stand by Prasad, disregarding the alleged illegitimacy of the appointment and the concerns of the university's stakeholders. With no alternative left, the JAC is primed for an all-encompassing protest.

The JAC will initiate its campaign by refusing to cooperate and participate in the proceedings of the upcoming 111th Academic Council meeting, scheduled for October 31 at 11 am in the Multi-use Convention Hall, according to the Northeast Now report.

The report said that aside from Prasad's ouster, the JAC has presented a comprehensive list of longstanding demands, originally bound by time constraints, which the Vice-Chancellor Shukla was obligated to address.

On October 26, the NEHUSU protested against Vice-Chancellor during a university event, The Meghalayan reported. Initially gathering at the Vice-Chancellor's office and later at the Kiang Nongbah Guest House, where a North East Philosophy Teachers meeting was in progress, the students aimed to address a slew of pressing issues.

Education Minister Rakkam Sangma, through the organisers, requested the students to allow the meeting to proceed undisturbed and to meet with the Vice-Chancellor after the event.

NEHUSU's grievances spanned several matters they've raised with VC, including concerns about the grading system, hostel conditions, substandard food services, improved WiFi access, and the need for a dedicated School of Technology (SOT) library within the university, as per the report.

They also expressed dissatisfaction with the appointment of Rohit Prasad as the Technical Officer Senior Consultant, alleging that it lacked proper procedures.

Banpynbiang Riang, NEHUSU's General Secretary, criticised Prasad's appointment while speaking to The Meghalayan. He asserted that it denied locals employment opportunities. The protest highlighted a growing concern among NEHU students about various issues affecting their university experience as well.

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