Imphal, Feb 19
Manipur University is finally going to have a full-time Vice-Chancellor as the Ministry of Human Resource Development had reportedly sought permission for removal of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey over allegations of administrative irregularities, according to government officials familiar with the matter.
The Manipur University has been running by an Administrator since October 11, 2018, by an order of the Manipur High Court after Prof. Pandey was put under suspension during an inquiry conducted against him over prolonged absence and irregularities.
A report appearing in Hindustan Times written by Amandeep Shukla said that the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his approval for the removal of Manipur University’s Vice-Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey over allegations of administrative irregularities, according to government officials familiar with the matter.
The ministry’s action comes after a two-member inquiry committee indicated that there was substance in allegations of prolonged absence, and some other charges brought against Pandey, who has been heading the central university since 2016.
“The HRD ministry has written to the President about the issue, as he is the chancellor of all central varsities. The ministry has suggested that the Vice-Chancellor be removed,” said a senior ministry official who asked not to be named. The allegations against Pandey include that he stayed away from the varsity for long periods, and delayed filling up key positions such as Registrar and Controller of examinations.
There have also been protests by teachers and students on the campus during Pandey’s term. In September 2018, the HRD ministry suspended Pandey, citing concerns over the volatile law-and-order situation on the campus. It also handed over the administration of the university to Manipur Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh, who is listed as vice-chancellor on the Imphal-based varsity’s official website.
Pandey said he was not aware that the ministry was seeking his removal. “I am not aware of the development so I would not like to comment,” he said when asked for his version. In the past, Pandey said he was being targeted by a section of teachers and students, who were supported by political parties, especially those belonging to the Left.
The HRD ministry has, in recent years, taken a stern view of allegations against Vice-Chancellors.
In 2016, the Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University, Chandra Krishnamurthy, was removed following allegations of plagiarism. Last month, Allahabad University Vice-Chancellor, RL Hangloo, resigned citing personal reasons after a controversial tenure in which he was accused of administrative and financial irregularities. The ministry accepted his resignation and initiated an inquiry into charges of financial and administrative irregularities.
Recently, a Vice-Chancellor of Tripura University, Vijay Dharurkar, resigned after a video of him allegedly accepting cash emerged during a sting operation. A Vice-Chancellor of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, JL Kaul, was also removed in 2016 over allegations of irregularities.