In Odisha, campus unrest leads Ravenshaw VC to quit

Vice-Chancellor of Ravenshaw University Prakash Sarangi resigned over growing political interference in the the premier educational institution of the State.

Published: 07th March 2017 07:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2017 07:26 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: Vice-Chancellor of Ravenshaw University Prakash Sarangi resigned on Monday over growing political interference in the the premier educational institution of the State.

His resignation, however, was not accepted by Chancellor and Governor SC Jamir who asked him to continue his duties as usual. At a time when the university has planned a series of events  from January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2018 to commemorate its 150 years of existence, the sudden move by the VC has sparked off a fresh row in the varsity. 

As per reports, the university authorities on Saturday had suspended six students for their involvement in a group clash between boarders of Lalitgiri Hostel and New hostel which took place on November 21, 2016.

While the hostel seats of the errant students were cancelled, they were also barred from entering the campus. Besides, the university had served warning notices on 10 other students in connection with campus violence. 

Vice-Chancellor of Ravenshaw University Prakash Sarangi resigned on Monday over growing political interference in the the premier educational institution of the State. His resignation was, however, not accepted by Chancellor and Governor SC Jamir who asked him to continue his duties as usual.

At a time when the university has planned a series of events from January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2018 to commemorate its 150 years of existence, the sudden move by the VC has sparked off a fresh row in the varsity.

As per reports, the university authorities on Saturday had suspended six students for their involvement in a group clash between boarders of Lalitgiri Hostel and New hostel which took place on November 21, 2016. While the hostel seats of the errant students were cancelled, they were also barred from entering the campus. Besides, the university had served warning notices on 10 other students in connection with the violence on the campus.

On Monday, a group of students stormed into the office of the VC in protest and demanded revocation of the suspension order slapped on the six students.

The agitating students then gheraoed the VC and started shouting slogans against him in filthy language following which Sarangi took the drastic step. Within 15 minutes, the VC tendered his resignation to Governor and left his office, sources said.

In his resignation letter, Sarangi cited that he failed to manage the university properly during his two years and 10 months tenure.

Addressing mediapersons, Sarangi expressed serious concern over rising incidents of violence on the campus due to political interference. The students influenced by political leaders are creating disturbance in the university at regular intervals, he said.

‘’Perhaps, I failed to manage the university properly. A handful of students have been influenced by political parties and are speaking the language of politics rather than education. Political parties are interfering in university affairs and I can’t strike a good rapport with such leaders,’’ the VC said. The future of the oldest educational institution will be pushed into darkness if the political interference is not removed, he added.

Meanwhile in the afternoon, an emergency meeting of staff council was held under the chairmanship of Dean Smara Priya Mishra where the members unanimously requested the VC to withdraw his resignation and the Chancellor to not accept the resignation letter. It was decided to take action against the students who had misbehaved with Sarangi.

Later, Jamir called up Sarangi and had a discussion with him in this regard. The Governor asked the VC to continue his service at the university.

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