Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU)
Just after Prof H N K Sarma completed his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University in 2016, there was a state of commotion. University faced tensions, a war of words among different sections of the University community. One after another, Vice-Chancellors-in-charge resigned as the sky of the university was covered by hatred and in-fights within. The university administration under the earlier regimes was full of corrupt practices at all levels. In contract works and appointments of faculty members in different Departments, unqualified candidates were selected, violating all the existing rules; some were not qualified, some are not in the tune of advertisements.
In short, the University witnessed several crises and mismanagement in academic and administrative fields. Amidst those dark clouds, Prof A P Pandey was appointed as regular Vice-Chancellor of the university and assumed the charge on 26th October 2016. Prof A P Pandey, even though the University community knew his poor experiences in academic and administration, was expected to become a savior from those misdeeds done just before his appointment in the university as Vice-Chancellor. A section of the community took it as a game changer in the University administration. But it became false hope. Time proves that he is no better than his predecessor. The university moves from bad to worse. Manipur University now confirmed that the present Vice-Chancellor reveals his own colour.
Color Change of a Satan
Just after he took his post as Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, he appointed someone from his hometown Banaras, not disclosed to any statutory body of the University, to study the security problems, presumed to be faced by him in the campus. A huge amount of money was spent by the University on this study. Again, he appointed some unauthorized persons from outside the state to assist him personally in dealing with day to day administration. Their appointments were not done through proper channel. Even the name of the post was not known to the officials of the University. These are the visible truth.
With hidden blessings, he behaved like a DICTATOR in the University. He started dictating University officers to be in the line, he made. To the extent, at his own dictates, he appointed External Examiners of many Ph.D. scholars not from the list recommended by different academic schools. Unfortunately, many such External Examiners were from Banaras Hindu University; and many of them were not specialized experts in those particular fields of research. Was it because of his personal showmanship to his former Banarasi Babus? Prof A P Pandey, who was an insignificant entity in BHU, does he want to send signals that he is the Vice-Chancellor of a university? Was it because of a political network he had and designed to integrate Manipur University in the network? Whatsoever it may be, was not it a violation of PhD regulation of the University?
His dictatorial thought was often reflected in keeping many teachers, students and non-teaching staffers in meetings, convened by him. Even after date and time was fixed for workshops, seminars, discussions, he went outside Manipur without prior information to the organizers concerned. He enjoyed by doing so thinking that all others were inferior to him. Many a time, he kept people waiting for him. This dictatorial and pompous attitude of his caused embarrassing situations of the University community even in front of many VIPs including Her Excellency, Governor of Manipur, Education Minister, Government of Manipur. Is he trying to show his muscles that he has political connections at the center and he is more powerful than the Governor of Manipur and also the present government of Manipur, led by Shri Nongthombam Biren? Is he above the State?
Violating all the rules of Manipur University and natural justice, he enjoyed long leaves outside Manipur. He did not mention in his leave application/information the date of his return. Moreover, he did not give charge to ‘Senior most Professor’ as required in the Statute. He went to various places of India on University expenses; the purposes of these visits were not made known to University. There is no transparency. Frequent visits to Banaras, Delhi and other ‘politically’ important places were not in the interest of University community. This is known well even to a chowkidar. The loss to University was not only monetary loss but also the morale of the Community is degrading. In this manner developed a vacuum in administration and leadership.
The long absence of Vice Chancellor without anybody who would look after the administration brought out ineffective administrative machinery. Because of it, students could not get their examination result in time, their fellowship and scholarship in time, many teachers as well as non-teaching staffers could not get benefits of many schemes in time. Moreover, because of his inexperience in administration, he could not take any administrative decision. He did not like to face statutory bodies such as the Academic Council. He was so happy with many ‘in-charge’ officers who were surrounding him.
He intentionally violates the University Act 2005 section 22, which makes mandatory for a “Court Meeting” to assess a financial year’s performance and which further prepares annual objectives for the succeeding year. In the absence of any such meeting, the university has failed to assess as well as to set objectives for the succeeding annual period. It is highly important to highlight here that the failure to convene the Court Meeting, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has forfeited the noble idea of check and balance and gives him a large avenue for manipulating the programs and huge sanctioned amounts to meet his selfish and ulterior motives.
Further, the mandatory conditions to conduct Executive Council Meeting (3 times in a year) and Finance Committee Meeting (3 times in a year) according to the University Rules has been deliberately overlooked. This prevents the office of the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University from scrutiny and gives the office the chance to abuse and excessively misuse its power and position.
A large amount of unaccounted money is being donated to a single politically motivated organization, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) with the ulterior motive, whereby, misusing his office with the purpose and reason known best to him. In contravention to the Rules and Regulation of the Manipur University, a huge amount of Rs. 5 (five) crore is transferred to a Lucknow based firm for installation of several smart classes. It is informed to us by the officials of the University, on condition of remaining anonymity, that the firm based in Lucknow is closely related with Prof. A P Pandey. Therefore it can be reasonably concluded that the office of the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University has been misappropriated for notorious and illegal monetary gains.
Prof. A P Pandey also made a deal with another Lucknow based firm for supply of examination answer sheets at the rate of Rs. 24.00 per sheet which was previously supplied by a local firm at the rate of Rs. 5.00 per sheet. This succinctly shows that the office of the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University has been awfully abused for personal ulterior motive, and thereby allowing to expend disproportionately from the exchequer amount. With a well-designed plan, purchase of smart boards, printing works were done outside Manipur. Any other persons in Manipur University did not know the undercurrent processes while transacting these contracts.
The Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University indulges in corruption as huge amounts are collected in the recruitment for several posts recruited on contract basis. These posts are filled in contravention to University Rules as they are conducted without notification which amounts to corruption and nepotism.
The Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University has utterly failed in his capacity as a responsible administrator as thousands of students have to face the burnt during the issuance of original certificates by taking 30-40 days while the same process was completed within a period of 2-3 days before. Remember he is always on hyper mobile lifestyle. The mismanagement and ill conduct of Prof. A P Pandey have led to the destruction of academic calendar of the University as the competent authority in connivance with the Vice Chancellor has failed to conduct semester examination in time and declaration of results of the same in time. The one-year Diploma Course in Burmese/Myanmarese Language of the Centre for Myanmar Studies, Certificate Course in Human Rights of the Centre for Human Rights and Duties of this University has failed to ensure the completion within the stipulated time as the completion of the said courses takes two years. These courses are for one year.
The Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University allowed the students and young teachers being harassed and threatened psychologically as they are frisked with utter disrespect by his security guards while entering his chamber.
Prof. A P Pandey, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has transgressed the very sanctity of the institution when the chamber of the Vice Chancellor is a rendezvous for several unknown contractors, politicians, businessmen and officials of the University, organizing”Parties” in the said chamber in the night reportedly with indulgence of immoral conducts which tantamount the demeaning of the office of Vice-Chancellor.
Who fuel his fantasy?
Like a Dictator, he wanted to develop a close circuit – a coterie. He made Prof Arun Kumar Saxena of Earth Science Department, Manipur University as his best Lieutenant. Prof Arun Kumar Saxena had a bad track record while he was the Head of Department. He was forced to relinquish Headship by the then Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University for forging the signature of Prof. Khuswa of the same Department. He is known as “Project Professor” and famous for his Casanova character by the university community.
Prof Arun Kumar Saxena in a short period became the most powerful person in Manipur University. He became Chairman of two Examination Committees against the traditions of Manipur University, made Chief Warden of Guest Houses of Manipur University which was not heard of earlier, the key member of Purchase Committee besides his Academic Deanship and Directorship of a Centre.
In the coterie, one Deputy Registrar, R K Jotin Singh, was designated as Secretary to Vice Chancellor. And Joint Registrar, Mr. David Zoute was assigned all the responsibilities ranging from office maintenance to academics. In between Registrar (though in-charge) and Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Registrar played the master role as advisor to Vice Chancellor. This arrangement made the administration not only ineffective but also indisciplined. And the Deputy Registrar RK Jotin Singh became arrogant to his subordinate staffs, teaching faculties and students community. Responsibility without risk is his character and red-tapism as an office procedure is his habit of earning extra incomes. Further, he, taking the advantages out of disadvantages of Registrar-in-charge, he snatched the sanctioning power with the blessing of Prof. A P Pandey since the Finance Officer of the University is being booked by CBI for corruption and manipulation of university fund.
The coterie felt the need of a PRO and that Public Relation Officer should be one who would always sing– Jai Pandeyji. They groomed Dr Ganesh Sethi, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Department, who did not have any idea of wholesome of the University and whose knowledge of Manipuri language is still in infant stage. Dr Ganesh Sethi could not communicate with the people over many issues and queries. But, he was never reluctant to praise Vice Chancellor for every insignificant thing. He could miss major points of University welfare but never forget to elaborate Prof A P Pandey’s meaningless utterings. He followed Vice Chancellor as if he is his Personal Assistant by forgetting his position as a teacher. It is nothing but a very shameful act of “comedy of error” by a young faculty. This could be an example of how the young faculties of the University are being trapped by the Vice Chancellor and his coteries are used in a wrong direction which ultimately spoils their morale and efficiency.
Dean, Student Welfare, is such a position so important to the coterie. Prof. Kh. Tomba Singh ‘the Dean’ is to look after the welfare of the students as well as to deal with student affairs. He whimsically involved in many student activities. He tried to get some monetary benefits out of the sanctioned made for student activities in the name of Income Tax Deduction or other. Having close relations with Vice Chancellor, he became a minor player in the coterie and became an instrument to divide students so that no voice could be raised against the Dictator.
Other players in the coterie were some unknown persons who sat in the adjacent room of Vice Chancellor’s chamber. No one knows, under what University posts were they appointed.
Like all other dictators in the world, Prof A P Pandey felt insecure always. The day he joined Manipur University, he demanded a new brand costly ‘Smart Phone’. He did not feel secure with his previous cheap mobile handset.
He demanded to be provided “Z category” security. No one knows why he required such high-security coverage. Even the present Chief Minister of Manipur is not given “Z category”. Prime Minister of India took himself as Pradhan Sevak of the Country. What made Prof A P Pandey feel insecure in University where only teachers and students were there? Thanks to Government and Pandey’s lobby, he got at least “Y category” security coverage with a bulletproof car. He was guarded by security personnel even in the meeting rooms. But the irony is that the students and young teachers were frisked when they liked to meet their Vice Chancellor. No voice against improper administrative decisions made by the coterie could rise. This made Higher Education dead. One question still remains in the collective mind of the Community: If he feels so insecure in University, why does not he resign from the Post?
Dance of Coterie
Prof A P Pandey with the exception in the annals of Vice Chancellor has a bizarre habit of remaining away from the university for long periods. He has been out of station for about 20 days in a month. Most of his visits outside the state are largely unofficial tours. To the utmost shock, he never informs his office the date of his arrival for those regular unofficial tours. Out of the remaining 10 days, at least 1 was Sunday. In those 9 working days, he came very late to the University, say at around 2 pm.
Files of different colors, different matters, and different level of urgency piled up on his table. Least listening to officers’ briefing and less reading of the notes on the files, he was more engaged with political personalities, contractors, social workers and so-called youth leaders in his office chambers. Many a time, even senior Professors were waiting outside his Chamber to say something to their Vice Chancellor while their Vice Chancellor is gossiping with his regular visitors. As a fruit of those gossips, many unadvertised posts were created and appointed his near and dear ones of those regular visitors.
The full dance of the coterie was seen when one Agriculture College was made affiliated to Manipur University without any discussion in Academic Council. Surprise to general people was that why the Agriculture College was affiliated to Manipur University, not to Central Agriculture University. Was the affiliation linked with the name of the College: Deendayal Upadhyaya Agriculture College? Such a major decision of affiliation of a professional college needs a thorough discussion in the Academic Council. This might be known to Prof. A P Pandey who had held his highest position in BHU as the Head of Department of Economics from 1 September 2015 till he joined Manipur University in October 2016. But, he did not convene Academic Council Meeting to discuss academic related matters of University.
Till a few days ahead of Inauguration of 105th Indian Science Congress, everything was within the grip of the coterie. Even the State Organizing Secretary did not know what was going on in the VC office chamber. All things were settled by the coterie. Still today, Manipur University does not know how much money came from different sources. There is room for doubt of misappropriation of funds by the coterie. A visible example is that the repairing of recently repaired road in the name of Prime Minister Visit was a drama of the coterie to loot university money. The portion of the road from Main Gate to Vice Chancellor Office had been repaired more than 7 times during 5 years. It was and still is a goldmine of several Vice Chancellors and some known personalities.
An Untold Story
The 105th Indian Science Congress without any Nobel laureates selected like a honeymoon place at the University campus installed latrines for the players and only remains are the dung and the smell of the urinated campus still added the aroma of the University. Cleaning of human excreta and organic wastes becomes the task of Swachh Bharat for the students as imposed by Prof. A P Pandey.
For the publicity of this mega-event, a short advertisement film was made in which a particular young dance teacher was running with a torch from one corner to another of the State. The filming was looked after or (was it) directed by a person from Delhi who claimed himself as an IAS retired officer and a very close friend of Prof A P Pandey and Prof Arun Kumar Saxena. But, after full completion of editing, the film did not see the light of the day. Why? Who dropped the idea of airing the advertisement film to local and national TV channels? What went wrong? Is there any untold story behind dropping the project at the fag end? Who was responsible for wasting money on making such an advertisement film? Was it because of the particular lady teacher that the film was censored?
The Undeniable Demand
The demand for removal of Prof A P Pandey is not targeting one person named Adya Prashad Pandey. The demand is not all about personal enmity and MUSU does not have any malice to Prof A P Pandey and any one of his coterie. The demand for removal is not purely a want of change of a person but for reminding the State and Central Authorities the basic aim of a university. It is to bring out a pleasant world in the University community and an atmosphere of freedom in this world of ideas, researches. Prof A P Pandey and his coterie destroyed everything in administrative, academic and financial matters. They brought a chaotic situation which MUSU cannot remain as silent spectators. Understanding the rights, duties, and expectation of one University Student, every member of MUSU took the decision to uproot the evils and evil doers. The present Manipur University under Dictator Prof A P Pandey and his coterie are not conducive for making proper space of rightful students, enthusiastic researchers, and dutiful teachers. It became a den of ugly contractors, ill-minded politicians, and lobbyists.
The Manipur University under the tenure-ship of Prof. Adya Prashad Pandey as Vice Chancellor and his coterie has brought severe academic and administrative crisis. The misconduct and misadventure of the present Vice-Chancellor, particularly the student community has to face the brunt and have to pay irretrievable loss. So, therefore, we the students’ community along with the teaching faculties and staffers are demanding the removal/ resignation/termination of Prof. Adya Prashad Pandey from the post of Vice Chancellor of Manipur University.
Our one-line demand is not for mere removal of a VC or substitution of a VC by another. The demand is for building Manipur University an ideal university. Smooth administration, freedom from corrupt practices, freedom from fear inflicted in the mind of the University community, a place for free thinkers and a house for intellectual leaders, freedom from tentacles of Hindutva and freedom from political coloring and nepotism are what want. Freedom from impositions for narrow political goals from outside University system is our dream.
The Irresponsible and Incompetent Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey: Crisis, Tragedy, and Response of the Students
Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University on 24th of October, 2016 and he assumed charge on 13thof December, 2016. Since his assuming of the charge of the Vice-Chancellor, the university is witnessing many crisis and mismanagement in academic and administrative fields, thereby, causing extreme hardship for the students, teaching staffs and non-teaching staffs. As a consequence, the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) have been compelled to launch the agitation for total shut down of the university since 30th May, 2018 after failing to have a fruitful dialogue with the competent authority to address the issues.
The following points are some of the issues which explicitly proves the irresponsibility and incompetence of the present Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University:
1. That, the present Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University with the exception in the annals of Vice Chancellor, has a bizarre habit of remaining away from the university for long periods. Most of his visit outside the state are largely unofficial tours. To the utmost shock, he never informs his office the date of his arrival for those regular unofficial tours. This amounts disgrace to the office he holds.
2. That, he intentionally violates the University Act, MU Act 2005 section 22, which makes mandatory for a “Court Meeting” to assess current financial years performance and which further prepares annual objectives for the succeeding year. In the absence of any such meeting, the university has failed to assess as well as to set objectives for the succeeding annual period. It is highly important to highlight here that the failure to conduct the “Court Meeting”, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has forfeited the noble idea of check and balance behind the very conduct of the meeting and gives him large avenue for manipulating the programs and huge sanctioned amounts to meet his selfish and ulterior motives.
3. That, the present Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University has utterly failed to perform his duties as no convocation is held since the last Convocation of the University (14th Convocation) which was held on 29th April, 2014. When the matter was put forward by us he refused to entertain the same.
4. That, the mandatory conditions to conduct Executive Council meeting (3 times in a year) and Finance Committee meeting (3 times in a year) according to the University Rules has been deliberately overlooked. This prevents the office of the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University from scrutiny and gives the office the chance to abuse and excessively misuse its power and position.
5. That, a large amount of unaccounted money is being donated to several politically motivated organisation with the ulterior motive, whereby, misusing his office with the purpose and reason known best to him.
6. That, in contravention to the Rules and Regulation of the Manipur University a huge amount of Rs. 5 crores is transferred to a Lucknow based firm for installation of several smart classes. It is informed to us by the officials of the university, on condition of remaining anonymity, that the firm based in Lucknow is closely related with the present Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University. Therefore it can reasonably be concluded that the office of the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has been misappropriated for notorious and illegal monetary gains.
7. That, in contravention to the Rules and Regulation of the Manipur University the present Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University, made a deal with another Lucknow based firm for supply of examination answer sheets at the rate of Rs. 24 per sheet which was previously supplied by a local firm at the rate of Rs. 5 per sheet. This succinctly shows that the office of the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University has been awfully abused for personal ulterior motive, i.e. to gain huge monetary profit, and thereby allowing to expend disproportionately from the exchequer amount.
8. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has failed to implement and start the much-awaited courses of LL.M, MA Fine Arts, and M.Ed. scheduled to get started in 2017 academic session.
9. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University indulges in corruption as huge amounts are collected in the recruitment for several posts recruited by way of contract basis. These posts are filled in contravention to University Rules as they are conducted without notification.
10. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has transgress the very sanctity of the institution when the chamber of the Vice-Chancellor when several unknown women, contractors, businessmen, and officials of the university have been partying in the said chamber in the night reportedly with indulgence of immoral conducts which tantamount the demeaning of the office of Vice-Chancellor.
11. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has deliberately filled the statutory posts like that of the Registrar, the Controller of Examinations, Librarian, and Curator under ‘in charge model’ to possess the ultimate monopolistic power to control the University without any checks.
12. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has utterly failed in his capacity as a responsible administrator as thousands of student have to face the brunt during the issuance of original certificates by taking 30-45 days’ while the same process was completed within a period of 2-3 days before his tenure-ship.
13. That, the mismanagement and ill conduct of the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has led to the destruction of academic calendar of the university as the competent authority in connivance with the Vice Chancellor has failed to conduct semester examination in time and declaration of results of the same in time.
14. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University has failed to ensure the completion of the “The one-year courses in Centre for Myanmar Studies and Human Rights” within the stipulated time as the completion of the said courses takes two years time against the previous precedent where it took only one year.
15. That, the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University allowed the students being harassed and threatened psychologically as they are frisked with utter disrespect by his security guards while entering his chamber.
The Manipur University under the tenure-ship of Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey as Vice Chancellor has brought severe academic and administrative crisis which can reasonably be attributed to the conducted and habit of the Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey as listed in the abovementioned points. Lastly, for the misconduct and misadventure of the present Vice-Chancellor the student community has to face the brunt and have to pay irretrievable loss.
Therefore, we demand Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey’s termination/removal from the post of Vice Chancellor of Manipur University.