PUDUCHERRY:The two-member committee, comprising officials of the Human Resource Development Ministry and UGC, on Friday completed hearing representatives of faculty members, students, employees about the issues relating to the administration of Pondicherry University.
Amit Shukla, director, Higher Education, and K P Singh, joint secretary, UGC, who arrived here on Thursday wound up the hearing by 11.45 am on Friday. Before leaving for New Delhi, the officials told newspersons, “We have heard everybody. We are confident that something will emerge soon.” However, the officials did not comment when asked whether there is any time limit for them to submit the report to the government. The officials also met Chief Secretary Manoj Parida before leaving.
Meanwhile, two students out of the 15 who are on a hunger strike fainted and were given medical aid. The students are on an indefinite protest to press for their demands, which include more hostels, basic amenities, and removal of some senior authorities. The hunger strike entered the second day while the agitation entered 12th day on Friday.
Members of Pondicherry University Teachers’ Association (PUTA), led by Dr Dastagiri Reddy and Pramod Singh, met the panel on Thursday and submitted a memorandum listing out the alleged irregularities in the management. Speaking to Express, Dr Reddy alleged there was inordinate delay in processing of files and whimsical decisions were becoming a serious hindrance in the smooth functioning of the university, including execution of Research & Development projects and utilisation of grants. PhD theses are not processed for years, and in some cases even the provisional degrees have not been awarded despite the viva having been completed a year ago, he charged.
Further, he said senior management officials were intimidating faculty members, staff and students who raised voices against the ‘misrule’. PUTA had to repeatedly approach courts to intervene, leading to at least 8 stay orders against the University actions in the last 10 months, Dr Reddy added.
Meanwhile, the Left parties urged the committee to represent with Union HRD Minister to immediately intervene and solve the issues. In a joint memorandum, CPI state secretary R Viswanathan, CPM secretary Rajangam and CPI(ML) district secretary G Palani said, “Several genuine demands of students such as reduction in tuition fees, subsidy in mess bill, uninterrupted Wi-Fi internet facility, adequate books in library, students union election in time frame, new hostels, are not addressed.”