A group comprising the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO), Meghalaya Tribal Teachers Association (MeTTA), Kiang Nongbah Government College Students Union and other organisations has called for the removal of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) Vice-Chancellor Prof SK Srivastava and “his team of irresponsible cronies” so that the university “can rise up again”.
In a press release today the Meghalaya Confederation of Academic Welfare (MCAW) demanded that a “qualified local tribal professor” be appointed as VC.
The position of the incumbent VC has grown increasingly contentious, with a coalition of university staff (teaching and non-teaching) and students pushing for his withdrawal, citing several alleged irregularities and failings on his part. Srivastava, who does have his supporters in NEHU, saw his appointment extended by the university’s Visitor and President of India Ram Nath Kovind following the expiration of the former’s term in September. A permanent VC will be appointed by the New Year, Union Education and Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had assured Meghalaya cabinet minister AL Hek last month. However, those opposed to him fear that Srivastava could be reappointed.
Pulling no punches, MCAW said that Srivastava has plunged NEHU “deep into a bottomless pit of decay, stalemate, insensitivity and all round failure on all fronts”. Since he took up the post in 2015 “scamsters, wheeler dealers and sycophants” have taken over the university and have created a regimen of “mediocrity, inefficiency and non-transparency” to the detriment of students, teachers and the larger society in Meghalaya and the North East.
The appointment of a well-qualified professor from the “local matrilineal society or any other home grown high achiever” will go a long way in restoring normalcy, academic harmony and excellence to NEHU.
In order for NEHU to regain its standing Srivastava needs to be “defenestrated” and have all his acts as Vice-Chancellor, be they academic, financial or administrative, investigated by competent authorities.
Meanwhile, the release informed that Roykupar Synrem, who is also the CoMSO Secretary, has been appointed Convener of MCAW, with Nickman Ch Marak the Co-Convener.