Newmai News Network
IMPHAL, May 15 : The agitating Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Students’ Union Regional Campus of Manipur (IGNTUSU-RCM) has sought the intervention of Manipur Governor, Prof Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the prevailing imbroglio of the University. The student union also submitted a memorandum each to the Governor and the Chief Minister in this regard today.
The IGNTUSU has been agitating since May 3 demanding that a number of issues confronting the University be addressed.
In today’s memorandum, the IGNTUSU said that ‘reservation policy’ is an important ‘premise of our demands’. “So far, varsity’s Regional Campus Manipur has no clear-cut reservation policy,” the memorandum said.
According to the student body, the Central Reservation Policy as followed by the Central Universities in appointment of staff and in the admission of students is completely unacceptable given the local dynamics prevalent in the State of Manipur. Furthermore, it is to be pertinently kept in mind that the Regional Campus Manipur is essentially meant for tribals in Higher Education and employment, it stated.
“Given this, special status in reservation should be given to the tribals while dealing with the admission of students as well as appointment of staff- teaching and non-teaching. (Mention may be made that the University Act describes the powers of the Tribal University to make special provisions for promotion of educational and economic welfare of the members belonging to the Scheduled Tribes by providing adequate percentage of seats in matters of admission, appointment and other benefits). No recruitments should be done until and unless clear-cut reservation policy conducive to the tribal population of the state is in place,” it added.
On the infrastructural issue prevailing in the varsity, the IGNTUSU said that Regional Campus Manipur also suffers from enormous infrastructural shortfall. “Till today there are no staff quarters and hostels for boys & girls making it very difficult for both the staff and the students to attend classes regularly. In fact, basic necessities such as Primary Health Center, Banking facility, Water supply, Post office, Internet, E-Library, Seminar hall, computers etc, are conspicuously absent despite multiple reminders to the authorities concerned since its inception,” it pointed out.
On opening of new departments and study centers of special interests, the tribal student body stated that with the number of students intending to undergo PG courses in different disciplines growing day by day, the urgent need for opening more departments in subjects like English, History, Philosophy, Geography, Education etc is becoming more acute. “There is also an urgent need to introduce/open BEd courses, Center for North East Studies, Center for South East Asian Studies, UGC NET/JRF coaching center and IGNOU study center for MA courses etc”, it said.
Regarding the ‘under staffing of teaching and non-teaching in the University, the IGNTUSU said that, at present, the Regional Campus is catering to PG studies in five disciplines including Political Science & Human Rights, Sociology & Social Anthropology, Tribal Studies, Social Work and Computer Application. “But, the Department of Tribal Studies and Department of Sociology & Social Anthropology are manned by only guest lecturers despite several requests for appointment of regular faculties. On the whole, most of the existing departments are understaffed including ministerial staff. Also, all the departments are without any properly allocated budget as per University norms and without any clerical staffs,” it added.
The tribal student body said that there is a communication gap between Regional Campus and Head Office, Amarkantak. In this regard, the IGNTUSU said that the varsity’s Regional Campus Manipur is a branch/extension of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh. RCM is administered through a Director deputed for the purpose. It alleged that the problem is with the Vice-Chancellor of the University who “hardly visits” the Regional Campus even though he is supposed to visit 3/4 times. “This apathy has resulted in grave ignorance/negligence about the affairs of the Campus. This, in fact, is the centrifugal source of the mess the Campus is in currently. In financial matters too, allotment of fund took days and months to reach the Regional Campus,” it stated. It said that, over and above this, there is complete lack of transparency in running the Campus administration.
“On the other hand, the Director is handicapped for not being given full power including separate fund allocation (financial autonomy) in managing the Campus administration and as a result, problems/suggestions cannot be taken on board accordingly and in time causing unnecessary delays and the eventual accumulation of dissatisfaction among the students,” it added.
The IGNTUSU said that it is the Government of Manipur that negotiated and brought the Regional Campus Manipur as an alternative to the demands of tribal students’ need for a separate hill/tribal university nine years ago. The Regional Campus Manipur is also in Manipur, it further said. “So, it is the responsibility of the State to keep abreast of the developments of the Regional Campus. But so far the Government of Manipur has fallen short of its responsibilities,” it stated. “It appears that the State Government is not keen in genuinely addressing the problems besetting the Campus education. This unfortunate apathy is amply proven by the fact that even after a lapse of ten days since the agitation, due attention is not given though the media had already captured the matter from day 1,” it also stated.
“Therefore, it is our humble request to your excellency to kindly look into the problems faced by us as detailed in Para. 1 to 6 so that something positive is in the pipeline though all the demands cannot be met overnight,” the memorandum said. The demands can be prioritized on phase manner, it added. “We approached the concerned authority several times to address our genuine problems since 2009, but to no avail. Something is wrong with the administration of the University Regional Campus Manipur vis-à-vis University Head office, Amarkantak. The academic atmosphere of the Campus has been seriously impacted with the on-going agitation of the students,” the student body mentioned in the memorandum.
“As such, we further request your excellency to kindly intervene towards resolving our issues and one such step, if we may boldly suggest your Excellency, would be to convince the Vice-Chancellor of our University to come to the Campus without any further ado. We are afraid more delays will lead to extreme and unwanted steps taken up by the students,” the memorandum also said.
Newmai News Network