Indore: Of indefinite hunger strike and students’ protest

Indore: Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) on Monday took centre stage with former RGPV executive council member Ajay Chordia going on hunger strike for an indefinite period to push for one-point demand of appointment of vice chancellor. Besides, a group of students staged protest over delay in announcement of common entrance test (CET) results. The hunger strike was on one side of RNT Marg campus whereas on the other side protest by students was underway. Police were on toes to deal with any untoward incident. At 10.30 am, Chordia reached RNT Marg campus and began hunger strike seeing support pouring in within a few minutes. DAVV’s senior most professor PN Mishra, Dr Rajeev Gupta, Niranjan Shrivastava, retired registrar Subhash Arya, DAVV self-finance course employees’ association president Gajendra Parmar and secretary Deepak Solanki met Chordia and extended support to him.

Former VC Bharat Chhaparwal also met Chordia and extended his support to demand appointment of vice chancellor at DAVV. On June 24, Section 52 of Madhya Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya Adhiniyam, 1973, was clamped at DAVV, which led to ouster of vice chancellor Narendra Dhakad. Since then, 22 days have passed but appointment of new VC has not been done in the university. “The delay has caused irreparable loss to the university. For last 22 days, more than 17000 students, who took CET, are on tenterhooks as without VC’s approval their admission can’t take place. Besides, administrative works have been paralysed in absence of VC. Never had such situation has arisen in 55 years of DAVV’s history,” he said.

Chordia said that the appointment is lingering on as Chancellor Anandiben Patel and government are at loggerheads over names for VC post. “Since June 24 they could not reach on consensus. Seeing this sorry state of affairs, I have gone on hunger strike. My strike will end only when VC is appointed at DAVV,” he said. Several files pending for VC’s approval School of Economics head Prof PN Mishra said thousands of files are pending for VC’s approval but the Chancellor and the government’s dispute over name of VC is preventing appointment at the coveted office here.

“As many as 49 files of my department are pending for VC’s approval,” he said. Mishra also stated that all talented students who had taken CET had gone to other universities as DAVV delayed CET results. “It’s a big loss to the university as now campus placement will also be hit in absence of talented lot,” he added. Meanwhile, students who took CET staged protest demanding results at the earliest. Registrar Anil Kumar informed the students that the results could be announced only after new VC is appointed and his approval is received on the results.

Spirit of Section 52 is for govt’s VC?

Section 52 states that if the state government on receipt of a report or otherwise, is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the administration of the university cannot be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Act, it may by notification, for reasons to be mentioned therein, can clamp Section 52 at the university. “The notification issued shall remain in operation for a period of one year from the appointed date and the state government may, from time to time, extend the period as it may think fit. But the total period of operation of the notification does not exceed three years,” it adds. The Section further adds, “The Kuladhipati (Chancellor) shall simultaneously with the issue of the notification (of Section 52 by the government) appoint the Kulapati (with consultation of the government) and the Kulapati (vice chancellor) so appointed shall hold office during the period of operation of the notification (of Section 52).”

While the government says the spirit of Section 52 is that VC of government’s choice is appointed, the Chancellor says that the Act says that appointment shall be done by her in consultation with government. Former VC Bharat Chhaparwal agreed to the government saying that Section 52 implies that the VC appointed by the Chancellor was not working effectively so the VC nominated by the government should be appointed. “It has been tradition that the Chancellor would appoint VC of the government’s choice under Section 52 but Patel is violating the norms and the tradition as well,” he added.

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