PUDUCHERRY: Pondicherry University Vice-Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy was directed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to go on leave from Thursday.
The MHRD order was issued to the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday, according to an official of the university.
The decision came in the aftermath of the visit of officials of the MHRD and UGC last week and interaction with the students, faculty members and employees.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Manoj Kumar Parida confirmed that the Territorial administration had received the MHRD order.
The MHRD had initially issued oral instructions to the V-C in this regard and since Chandra Krishnamurthy resisted it, orders asking her to proceed on leave was issued on Thursday afternoon, sources said.
After receiving information, the students gathered at the Vice-Chancellor’s chamber and squatted there since 2.30 pm, pressing her to abide by the order. The faculty members, employees, too, gathered in good numbers and joined the students’ agitation.
After a long wait, as the students refused to withdraw the stir, Puducherry University Teachers Association (PUTA) members intervened and informed around 6.30 pm that the MHRD had issued a written order to the V-C to proceed on leave. The students refused to disperse and give way to the V-C till she agreed to abide by the order. A senior official in the administration read out a letter saying the V-C had applied for leave for a week and in her absence, the Registrar in-charge would hold the additional responsibility.
The siege continued till late Thursday night. The students had begun the agitation on July 27. Fifteen students in batches began an indefinite relay fast from August 6.
Among other issues, the students demanded protection for girls students, more hostels, basic amenities, including drinking water and battery-operated vehicles. They demanded the clearances of PhD theses, which were delayed.
The MHRD is expected to name the senior most professor in-charge of the university’s administration or appoint an IAS officer to take care of the administration.