ROURKELA: The month-long students unrest at the Institute of Production Management (IIPM) in Kansbahal near here ended on Friday evening with intervention of the Department of Higher Education (DHE). Students had been agitating since September 11 over the demand for removal of IIPM Director Niranjan Nayak and reconstitution of the governing body. Some faculty members had also joined the agitating students.
Based on the report of Sundargarh Collector Surendra Kumar Meena, the DHE Director has asked Sundargarh ADM BC Turuk to exercise powers and functions of the Governing Body (GB) of IIPM till further orders or reconstitution of the GB. Promoted by the ICICI, L&T, SAIL and Odisha Government, the IIPM and its constituent colleges offer academic courses at Diploma, UG and PG levels.
The IIPM Society, registered under the Societies Registration, governs the activities of IIPM and other constituent entities including the IIPMSOM (School Of Management) and IIPM-SET (School of Engineering & Training (SET). However, IIPM’s another constituent college - College of IIPM - has a separate governing body. The DHE had appointed Rajagnagpur MLA of BJD Mangla Kishan as one-man governing body of the college.
Kishan took charge on August 13 and appointed Nayak as the director. Interestingly, Kishan resigned on September 22 and on the same day, Sundargarh Collector Surendra Kumar Meena submitted a scathing factual report to the HED Secretary and Commissioner. The report stated that though Kishan’s power was confined to only College of IIPM, he had exercised power to reinstate Nayak as Director of IIPM Society giving him overall academic, financial and administrative powers of all constituent entities.
The report said on attaining 58 years in February 2018, Nayak refused to retire and forcefully continued till his suspension in April and was finally relieved in May. The report pointed out that on reinstatement, Nayak appointed Jitendra Das as Public Relation Officer (PRO) at a monthly salary of `35,000 though there was no provision or precedence for such appointment. Nayak also reinstated two tainted officials with financial powers and the trio had drawn salaries of `10.71 lakh including `7.81 lakh of Nayak when they were not in service from April 23 to August 12.
Contacted, Kishan said a ‘tribal man’ leading the IIPM was not tolerated by a section of the faculty members and under a conspiracy, the students’ unrest was instigated and he resigned to get out of the disorder. On the Collector’s report, Kishan said it was prepared without proper inquiry.