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The Endangered Future of MU: A Call for Accountability and Action

by Editorial Team
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The Endangered Future of MU: A Call for Accountability and Action

Once more, Imphal Times has uncovered violations and derelictions of duty at Manipur University (MU), adding to the institution’s troubling record of administrative negligence. Previous reports have highlighted systemic issues, and recent events have further undermined the university’s reputation as a temple of learning. This time, the mishandling of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) holders’ PhD registrations by the Teachers Education Department has shattered the dreams of many scholars, exposing a worrying trend of irresponsibility and lack of accountability.
The latest incident involves a blatant disregard for the Manipur University Act, 2005. The Head of the Department and Chairman of the Board of Studies (BOS) in the Department of Teacher Education called a special meeting on May 23, 2024, without adhering to the prescribed guidelines. Section 31(1)(j) and Statute 16 of the MU Act mandate that notice for a special meeting must be issued at least five days prior. However, the notice was issued just one day before the meeting. Such procedural violations are symptomatic of the broader administrative malaise that has contributed to MU’s ranking of 151st out of 200 in the overall category within India, according to the 2023 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
The MU Teachers Education Department’s handling of JRF holders’ PhD registrations exemplifies gross negligence. The 2019 MU ordinance clearly states that candidates with fellowships such as UGC-CISR JRF or ICMR JRF should be allowed provisional enrollment without an admission test. Despite this clear directive, the department delayed the registration process for over three years, causing significant frustration and jeopardizing the scholars’ fellowships.
The delay has had severe repercussions. JRF holders from 2019, whose fellowships are valid for three years, are now unable to benefit from the financial support they were promised. From 2020 to 2022, these scholars remained in limbo, despite having necessary approvals and making multiple appeals. Their pleas were met with false assurances and a complete disregard for due process.
In February 2023, the situation worsened with the introduction of a new PhD regulation requiring candidates to appear for interviews, effectively nullifying the 2019 ordinance’s provisions. Scholars who should have been admitted under the old rules are now forced to undergo additional procedures, losing their fellowship stipends in the process. This shift highlights not only administrative inefficiency but also raises questions about the equitable treatment of scholars across different university departments.
Despite multiple appeals to high-ranking officials, including the Vice Chancellor and the Dean of the School of Education, there has been no substantive response or action. The Vice Chancellor’s instructions to consider the matter were evidently ignored, showcasing a troubling disconnect between university leadership and departmental execution.
It is particularly egregious that other departments within the university have adhered to the 2019 ordinance, granting admissions to JRF holders without issue. The Teachers Education Department’s refusal to do the same is inconsistent and unjustifiable. Moreover, the department’s decision to accommodate scholars under teachers from affiliated colleges— a provision not mentioned in either the 2019 or 2023 regulations—further underscores the lack of a coherent and fair policy framework.
This editorial calls for immediate accountability and corrective measures. The MU administration must recognize the severe impact of these delays and the subsequent regulatory changes on JRF holders. A thorough investigation into the department’s handling of PhD registrations is imperative. Additionally, steps should be taken to ensure that affected scholars are either compensated for their lost fellowships or provided alternative means of support.
The academic futures of these scholars have been unjustly compromised. It is incumbent upon MU’s leadership to rectify this situation promptly and ensure that such administrative failures are not repeated. Only through genuine accountability and reform can the university restore trust and uphold its commitment to academic excellence and fairness.
The negligence exhibited by the Teachers Education Department has highlighted the urgent need for systemic reform. It is crucial for the university to implement transparent and efficient administrative processes to prevent such occurrences in the future. The future of these scholars—and the reputation of Manipur University—depends on it.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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