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HRD Appoints Retd Justice as Head of Fact-finding Team to Probe Charges Against Manipur University V-C

A few days ago, Manipur CM N Biren Singh appealed to the HRD ministry to consider the students’ demands of a judge leading the investigations into the allegations against Manipur University V-C.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:July 17, 2018, 11:14 PM IST
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HRD Appoints Retd Justice as Head of Fact-finding Team to Probe Charges Against Manipur University V-C
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: A day after several protesting students in Manipur were injured during an agitation demanding a probe led by a judge against the Manipur V-C, the HRD ministry on Tuesday gave in to the demand and constituted a fact-finding team to be headed by a retired chief justice of the Meghalaya High Court.

A few days ago, Manipur CM N Biren Singh appealed to the HRD ministry to consider the students’ demands.

The ministry has now appointed Justice T Nandkumar Singh as the chairperson of the fact-finding committee that will probe allegations of administrative negligence and financial irregularities against Vice-Chancellor Aditya Prasad Pandey.

Agitators have demanded that an independent inquiry committee be set up with a retired Chief Justice of a High Court as the head.

Students have alleged that the V-C remains skips his official duties at the university for several days at a stretch and is mostly out on unofficial tours. They say Pandey has also failed in his duties as there was no convocation held for the students since 2014.

They have also alleged gross irregularities in managing the funds of the university and ignoring the system of checks and balances. Not only that, it has also been alleged that a lot of the university funds have gone to politically motivated outfits and into other corrupt practices.

The students have issued a list of 15 complaints against the V-C, including harassment of students.

“They have demanded that no official who has worked with the V-C in the financial and administrative mismanagement be part of the committee. The fact-finding team formed by the ministry has members from UGC and HRD ministry, which is to submit their report within a month. The students wanted a judicial entry into the probe panel and we have done that,” ministry sources said.

As per an order issued by HRD Undersecretary, Vijay Kumar on July 12, the committee would constitute JK Tripathi, joint secretary, University Grants Commission (UGC) and Surat Singh, deputy secretary, central university division, MHRD. Nandkumar Singh will head the panel as per the notification signed by US Umesh Kumar.

Allegations against the V-C have brought the university to a standstill over the past month. The protesting students have been demanding the V-C’s resignation and an independent probe against him.

As per media reports, the Joint College Forum of Manipur University (JCFMU) have decided to shut all affiliated colleges on July 11 and have given a three-day deadline to the state government to resolve the issue.

The committee will submit its report by the end of the month, following which further action will be taken.

The HRD ministry order said, “The committee may, for the purpose, visit the university and its various offices/premises, inspect such documents as it may consider necessary, and take copies thereof, record statement and have discussions with all stakeholders in this regard.”
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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