Imphal, Jan 27
Can an Administrator appointed by a Court to look after a University on interim basis can exercise the power and function of a full time qualified Vice Chancellor of that University is a question being asked by every citizen. However, in case of Manipur University, where the Manipur High Court made an arrangement to end the long impasse at Manipur University by appointing an ‘Administrator’ on interim basis, who is also not even qualified for the post is exercising the full power conferred to a regular full time Vice Chancellor. What is shocking to the present trend happening in the Manipur University is that all of the University Community, even after knowing that, the ongoing practice in the University may bring an end to the functioning of the Highest Learning Institute of the entire state remains silent.
This is the fourth story that the Imphal Times is exposing on how the Manipur University is going to face serious financial crisis as per the finding by Imphal Times Special Investigation team.
October 11, 2018, Jarnail Singh, an IAS officer,(Retd) , who had year long experience in the administration of Manipur, was appointed as “Administrator” on interim basis by putting VC AP Pandey on suspension, by a division bench of Manipur High Court which comprises of Justice N. Kotiswar and Justice Kh. Nobin.
Soon after Jarnail Singh took charge as Administrator, he appointed 49 (forty nine) contractual staffs in between October 17, 2018 to June 6, 2019. With this appointment total contract staffs reached 270 numbers as per record on June , 2019.
Among the 49 contract staffs stated above, one RK Abena, appointed as Project Officer on contract basis on October 17, 2018 was first paid a sum of Rs. 25,000/- per month at the time of appointment, but her remuneration increased to Rs. 30,000/- per month. The project officer is a post newly created by the MU Administrator appointed by Manipur High Court as an interim arrangement. Remuneration of the two other post appointed during his short period are H. Nelia (Assistant Project Officer) and Ashiikho Ashuli (Progress Assistant). On appointment H. Neliana was paid Rs. 15,000/- but increased to Rs. 18,000/- by an order of the Administrator at the capacity of VC on April 1, 2019, while Ashikho Ashuli whose initial remuneration was 13, 000/- was increased to Rs. 15,600/-. Remuneration of the contract faculties, guest teachers are also paid well so as to silence any possible complaints. Sad portion is that there were no advertisements called for many of the 49 contract staffs at any of the electronic or print media.
Manipur University after conversion as Central University on 13/10/2005 is being run directly under the grant from the Central Government and UCG.
On September 19, 2019, the University Grants Commission (UGC) in a notification sent to the Registrar of all Central Universities clearly stated that the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India had instructed that all expenditure of Contractual/ Guest Faculty and daily wage / outsource non-teaching staff is to be incurred from recurring head. The MHRD instruction to Central Universities also said that incurring of expenditure for the said contract staffs mentioned above under salary head will be treated as an unapproved expenditure while finalizing the utilization certificate at the end of the year.
So, the expenditure of the 270 contract employees of Manipur University will have to be done from the recurring head.
As per University’s regulations expenditure for procuring of stationery articles required for class room purposed and other computers and machineries including chemicals and science equipments were usually procured from the recurring head.
In 2017-18 , a total of Rs. 31,43,465/- (Rupees Thirty one lakh forty-three thousand four hundred and sixty five) was procured for academic propose. (This purchase too has been made from a single firm without resorting to Codal formalities). These stationery items are requisite of academic affairs in all the department of the University and need to be purchased at the time of needs.
If this expenditure for contractual staffs is being paid from the recurring head that means it is likely that class rooms of almost all departments may have no fund left for purchasing stationeries and other required materials.
Manipur University today continues to face dark times, with no regular and qualified Vice Chancellor. Meanwhile, AP Pandey still is the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University and is enjoying all facilities that a VC enjoys during suspension period. It is not clear on how the salary or remuneration of the Administrator, Jarnail Singh is being paid as he himself cannot be treated as a regular VC. Silence of the Manipur University community at these dark times may someday lead to extinction of Manipur University.