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New VC of Manipur University Appointed, Student Protests Continue

IMPHAL: For the past seven months, there’s been trouble rumbling in Imphal’s Manipur University.

It began with the Deans’ Committee meeting on April 4, during which the committee adopted the reservation policy as directed by the Universal Grants Commission (UGC). As per UGC norms, 7.5 per cent must be reserved for Scheduled Tribes, 15 percent for Scheduled Castes and 27 per cent for Other Backward Classes. Tribals make up 34.4 percent of Manipur’s population.

Now, with the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor (VC), it looks like events may take a more volatile turn.

Last August, Professor HNK Sharma retired from the post of VC of Manipur University. Sharma was briefly succeeded by Professor M Dhaneshor and Professor Th Jekendra before Professor Amar Yumnam become the interim VC. Yumnam is unpopular with tribal student bodies because he ordered the beginning of admissions to postgraduate courses even as there were growing demands for greater reservation for tribals. Some student bodies have even burnt his effigy during their protests.

Finally, after more than a year, there's a new VC: Professor Adya Prasad Pandey. He’s going to face some very angry students next week when admissions to various courses in Manipur University open. Admissions have been pending since April this year because of student protests.

Tribal students of Manipur University are up in arms against the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006, adopted by the University’s Academic Council. Under this Act, Scheduled Tribes will get 7.5 percent reservation in admission to the university. Agitating tribal student bodies want the implementation of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2012, which takes up ST reservation to 31 percent.

Source: Newslaundry

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