IMPHAL: The President of India has formally dismissed the vice-chancellor of Manipur University Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, who was placed on suspension on September 17, 2018, with immediate effect on Friday.
In the order issued by deputy secretary Surat Singh, the Human Resources Development ministry stated that several complaints of irregularities in administration of the university including serious academic, administrative and financial irregularities and illegalities as well as dereliction of duties and lack of commitment on the part of AP Pandey were brought to the notice of the Government by various quarters.
On account of these complaints against the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University, it mentioned, Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) started an agitation against him which was also joined by Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and Manipur University Staff Association (MUSA) and demanded his removal. Due to prolonged agitation by the whole University and other Colleges, the situation had taken an ugly turn and the State Government requested the HRD Ministry to take serious note of the current situation stating that any delay would lead to major law and order problem in the State.
In order to bring back the normalcy and in the interest of the Manipur University, a Fact Finding Committee comprising of officers from MHRD and UGC was constituted vide order dated 12.07.2018 to enquire about the allegations made against the Vice Chancellor. Not satisfied with the composition and terms of references of the committee, the MUSA, MUTA and MUSU did not withdraw the strike. Subsequently, an independent Inquiry Committee consisting of T Nandakumar Singh, former acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya and Prof M.K. Choudhary, former Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University was constituted on 17.08.2018, to inquire into allegations against the Vice Chancellor, Manipur University relating to administrative and financial irregularities in the management of affairs of the Manipur University.
The two Member Inquiry Committee submitted its report, and Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey has given point-wise reply to the charges but it emerges from the examination of his reply and the records received from the University that during the period from 26.10.2016 to 30.05.2018, Prof. A.P Pandey remained away for about 189 days from the Manipur University and most of absences of the Vice Chancellor from the headquarters could not be justified from the records available in the University, the order said.
The order further noted that frequent absence of Vice Chancellor from the headquarters of the University affected its academic activities adversely. This displays lack of institutional commitment of Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey and his failure to provide effective leadership and guidance to the University. Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey has committed various financial irregularities in purchases and execution of works without inviting tenders in violation of provisions of General Financial Rules (GFRS) and excess purchases etc. in connection with organizing the 105th Indian Science Congress, installation of smart glass systems through ITI, Lucknow and purchase of blank Mark-sheets and OMR Answer Copies without calling the Tender(s).
“Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey was given reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the action proposed to be taken against him when the Show Cause Notice removed from the office for his incapacity in exercising general supervision and control over the affairs of the University. He has already availed of this opportunity by submitting his detailed reply.
“The post of Vice-Chancellor is a post of pivotal importance and the entire discipline and ethos of the University revolve around him…However, from the above details, it emerged that the Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, Vice-Chancellor, Manipur University has failed miserably in performing duties assigned under Statute 3 (3) of the Manipur University Act, 2005,” the order stated before informing about his sacking.