They are against Prof. Srivastava for “bringing the university down to the lowest level in all ranking assessments”

Teachers, non-teaching staff and students of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) have appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind not to extend the term of Vice-Chancellor S.K. Srivastava.

The Joint Action Committee of the Meghalaya-based university on September 21 wrote to the President, requesting him “not to give even a single day extension” to Prof. Srivastava for “bringing the university down to the lowest level in all ranking assessments”.

The JAC comprises the NEHU Teachers’ Association, the NEHU Non-Teaching Staff Association and the NEHU Students’ Union. Prof. Srivastava’s term ends on September 23, after more than four years on the chair.

Extending his term after “his non-performance and mismanagement” shall “remain incorrect on moral grounds”, the committee’s chairman Xavier P. Mao said. He also alluded to cases of sexual harassment in the National Commission for Women and National Scheduled Tribes’ Commission against the V-C by professors of the university.

“Since Prof. S.K. Srivastava is an applicant for the second term, any extension given to him would allow him to exert undue influence on the selection process of the new Vice-Chancellor already under process,” the committee said, pointing out that the extension would be unethical under such circumstances.

The committee also said that Prof. Srivastava had “damaged the university beyond immediate repair”.

The Meghalaya unit of the Congress joined the chorus for action against the outgoing V-C, with P.T. Sawkmie, the Opposition Chief Whip, petitioning Union Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank against granting him any extension.

“It appears that the V-C is not running the university in a proper manner, which has thus compelled students, teachers and staff to take to the streets in protest,” Mr. Sawkmie said.

Prof. Srivastava had earlier trashed the allegations against him, maintaining that it had become fashionable to vilify V-Cs in the country.

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