The Meghalaya Confederation of Academic Welfare (MeCAW), a conglomeration of students and faculty groups, has expressed its concern over supposed efforts to prolong the influence of Vice-Chancellor S K Srivastava on North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) through either of the two pro-VCs, both of whom are considered to be allies of the controversial university head.
The two pro-VCs are Henry Lamin of the Shillong campus and G Singaiah of Tura.
MeCAW has consistently appealed for a female, tribal professor from Meghalaya to succeed Srivastava, whose five-year term ended in September but which was extended until a new VC is appointed by the Union Ministry of Education (formerly Human Resource Development).
Today MeCAW said that there is an effort to “continue with the pathetic and reprehensible regime” of Srivastava “in a new guise”. The organisation has accused Srivastava in the past of all manner of irregularities, from the way he has run the academic side of NEHU, alleged wrongdoings in awarding contracts, treatment of staff and has also blamed him for the slide in the university’s ranking compared to other varsities.
In its release MeCAW said that Srivastava was aided in all these supposed irregularities by Lamin and Singaiah. “Indeed, without the support from these two, the university would not have gone down so soon, howsoever much Srivastava would have damaged it singlehandedly,” the statement, which was signed by MeCAW Chairman Roykupar Synrem, said.
“It is very unfortunate to learn that such a cabal is still preying for further positions in the university, so that the only central university of the state becomes a permanent fiefdom of Srivastava and his accomplices,” Synrem said, adding that Srivastava and the two pro-VCs are maligning the reputations of suitable candidates for Vice-Chancellor in New Delhi in order to influence the new appointment.
After five years of being headed by Srivastava, NEHU requires a “healing touch”, something that cannot be provided if Lamin and Singaiah continue in positions of authority, MeCAW stated.