TODAY -

MU 'no longer' a ThiKa Makon (Den of contractors), claims MU VC Prof HNK Sarma
MUSU on road to revival under interim arrangement as per Lyngdoh Committee guidelines
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 20 2014 : Seeking to dispel the common notion that Manipur University has been turned into a den of contractors, reducing aca-demics to a footnote, ever since it was up upgraded/changed into a Central University in 2005, Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, Prof HNK Sarma today claimed that it is 'no longer so' .

Stopping short of candidly admitting that there were grounds for the University to earn such an unflattering sobriquet, the VC in an exclusive chat with The Sangai Express at his office chamber today said that all the contractors engaged by MU are empanelled.

The VC explained that due process is followed at the time of floating any tender and a retired Chief Engineer of the PHED has been roped in as a consultant.

"As far as construction works are concerned, we are doing better than the State Government", said the VC and added that the scenario no longer resembles an engineering department like say the PWD, which is the destination of many contractors.



Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, Prof HNK Sarma
Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, Prof HNK Sarma


Citing an example, he said that the Social Science Block, which has about 450 rooms with adequate number of conference halls was built at the cost of less than Rs 7 crore.

"If the same work had been entrusted to the State Government, it would have cost much more," he claimed.

On the vexatious question of reviving the Manipur University Students' Union, for which MU had hogged limelights in the recent past, the VC said that an interim arrangement has been made and it would strictly follow the guidelines laid down by the Lyngdoh Committee.

In short the Lyngdoh Committee's guidelines specify that no students who have failed, have back papers, do not reach the 75 pc class attendance mark and those who have contested before and lost can stand for election to the student union.

Moreover election under the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines should be held each academic year.

From the Lyngdoh Committee, the Ministry of Human Resource Development will take over and they will issue the guidelines for holding elections to MUSU, said the VC.

This is as per the directives issued by the UGC.

The Chancellor of the University, Prof Dilip Nachane was in town a few days back to inaugurate a girls' hostel he said and added that he met students of the university on February 19 to talk about the revival of MUSU.

On being prodded why the National Academic Accreditation Council has not assessed the university for more than 4/5 years, the VC said that the matter will be settled soon and added that a self assessment report of the university has already been sent to the NAAC in January this year.

Their response is expected within 4/5 months time, he said and exuded confidence that MU will be ready to meet the deadline set by the UGC for the NAAC assessment next year.

To a specific question on why the chairman of the Screening Committee to select the faculty of Sociology Department was given the assignment, when the wife of the chairman was one of the candidates, the VC said that the lady in question was not a candidate at all.

To another blunt question on how and why the service of the wife of the VC was extended and sort of promoted to Assistant Finance Officer with the authority to sanction, Prof HNK Sarma rejected the 'service extension' as well as the 'authority to sanction' contention and added that Mrs Sarma is just being 'engaged' as there is a dearth of suitable candidates for the said post and the man power is poor.

Taking personal questions, such as the need to buy a luxury car when hostellers have to face shortage of water and power supply, the VC quoting the price of the car at Rs 14 lakhs, justified his decision and said that it was bought two years back.

"Moreover it was not bought from the development funds of the University, but from investments made by MU," he said.

On being prodded where MU invest and in what, the VC explained that funds are depo- sited with the banks and it was from the interest of the deposits that the car was bought.

About 2 years and 9 months in office as VC, Prof HNK Sarma said that some of his most satisfying moments have come from the increased and productive interactions between the stu- dents and the faculty.

"Our products are doing well.

Some have got admissions for higher education in reputed institutions such as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science and Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Centre," he said.

In 2013, 180 students from MU cleared the NET exams and added that at the moment MU has 947 PhD scholars which takes it to the top 5/6 spot amongst the 40 odd Central universities across the country.

In the North East MU is at the top in terms of PhD students, beating NEHU which has 684 students.

Admitting that MU has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, while the positive developments have been sidelined, the VC said that he has already issued necessary guidelines to kick life into the PRO office of MU.

Striking a positive tone, the VC said that the university library has about 1.8 lakh books and 8600 e journals.

No fees are charged for using the computers, he added.

Stating that MU has been inviting subject experts from different parts of the country as well as abroad, the VC said that more than 40 such scholars visit the university in a year.

On foreign student exchange programme, the VC said that six students have been sent to the Surindra Rajbhat University, Thailand to pursue their PhD degree while another student went to Thailand for a six month tenure.


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