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SASRD Medziphema caught with three issues
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, AUG 2 (NPN):
Published on 3 Aug. 2010 1:02 AM IST
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School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development (SASRD), Nagaland University, Medziphema campus is caught up with three issues at the moment - alleged irregular appointments, students demanding the dean’s resignation over failure to meet their demands and the Medziphema Youth Organization (MYO) demanding allotment of one seat in B.Sc Agriculture to Medziphema village.
Certain anomalous appointments in various posts have been reported in School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development (SASRD), Nagaland University, Medziphema campus, reportedly causing agitation and inconveniences among staff and students’ community of SASRD campus.
According to reliable sources, the assistant professors, associate professors and professors including the present dean of schools of studies (SASRD) have been reportedly appointed without following the guidelines laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the past many years.
Out of the 12 departments based in SASRD Medzihpema campus, departments such as agriculture chemical and soil science, agricultural economic, agriculture engineering, agriculture extension, agronomy, animal production and management, entomology, genetics and plant breeding, horticulture, pathology, rural development and planning, soil conservation based in SASRD, Medzhiphema, some HoDs and teachers do not have the requisite qualifications and criteria to occupy the posts, currently held by them.
It was learnt that some HoDs and professors were drawn from humanities subjects, which has nothing to do with agriculture qualifications and experiences to head the departments. It was alleged that the present dean of SASRD, Prof. D. P. Sharma was appointed on July 31, 2009 without following the guidelines of the University Act passed in 1989. According to the University Act of 1989, “a Dean on attaining the age of 60 years shall cease to hold office as such; provided that if at anytime there is no professor in a school, the Vice Chancellor, or a Dean authorized by the VC shall exercise the powers of the Dean of the school.” Prof. Sharma had reportedly attained 62 years of age during the taking over of the Deanship of SASRD.
Dean of SASRD, Prof. D. P Sharma said a circular was issued by UGC sometime in 2007 which extended the age of professors from 62-65 years of age and that in March 2009, a separate circular was issued on the age of vice chancellors and dean of schools from 60-65 years.
When asked about the allegation on the appointment of the dean of SASRD, the NU Vice Chancellor, Prof. K. Kannan said that as per a circular issued on March 2009 by union ministry of human resources and development, the age of vice chancellors and deans of schools to hold office was increased from 60-65 years of age. The VC said since D. P. Sharma was a professor in the first place, the age criteria automatically applies to the circular issued by the MHRD in 2007.
Prof. Kannan, however, that though such circulars have been issued from time to time by the union ministry of human resource and development, the decisions/circulars were yet to be fully incorporated with the University Acts and Ordinances.
A SASRD teacher said he was aware of the extension of age but that in the case of the dean of SASRD, though D. P. Sharma was a professor, since he was assuming the role of a dean which was purely an administrative role, the age criteria should be applied in his capacity as a dean and not a professor.
The teacher also said since the statutory was passed in the parliament, any changes also have to be first passed in the parliament. He, therefore, said that the appointment of the dean was “totally illegal and false.”
Meanwhile, when asked to comment on the allegations of irregular appointments in various departments in the university, both Prof. Kannan and Prof. D.P Sharma admitted that there were such practices of appointing individuals in various positions in NU without following the guidelines and norms set by the UGC.
Asked on ways to clean up the mess created by past and present administrators, Prof. Kannan expressed his inability to remove those teachers or lecturers since they were appointed some 20-30 years back. However, he assured to take necessary steps in the future while appointments were made for any posts in the University.
Students demand dean’s resignation
Students of SASRD under the banner of Student’s Union SASRD Nagaland University, Medziphema Campus on Monday served three hours ultimatum from 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm to the dean, Prof. D. P. Sharma to quit from the deanship following his alleged failure to meet their grievances despite various letters and verbal requests. The students threatened to take their course of action as deemed fit if the dean did not resign within 3: 30 pm on Monday.
The students after their meeting at SASRD auditorium, Monday marched to the dean’s residence to submit the memorandum. The students, in a letter to the dean, said some of list of priorities requested to be addressed included: Proper and regular water supply through pipeline connection to the hostels; career counseling to be organized within the current semester to make the students aware about career opportunities; increase in DA for study tours; generator facilities for the 1st year (boys) and M.Sc hostel (girls); internet facilities in and around the campus; provision of indoor stadium; provision of ATM facilities; bus services of Saturdays; black topping and utilization of the main entrance to the classroom; provision of stationery shops within vicinity of the campus; replacement of present chairs in the auditorium; to provide a plot of for EU: SASRD and construct a fellowship in the same and renovation of girls’ basketball court, M. C hostel.
Stating that that the dean has failed to address these grievances even after four months, the SASRD students demanded his resignation.
The students also expressed their disappointment over the cancellation of the pre-planned plantation day. Further, they said that the dean “really hurt our sentiments” when he asked the students as to why they were forcing him to bring developmental change when the previous deans failed to solve their problems.
Dean’s office sealed
The office of the dean, School of Agricultural Sciences and Rural Development (SASRD), Nagaland University Medziphema was sealed by Medziphema Youth Organization (MYO) representatives on Monday at around 12.30 pm after their demand pertaining to allotment of one seat in B.Sc Agriculture was not met by the dean.
According to sources, the MYO reiterated their demand for allotment of one seat in B.Sc Agriculture to Medziphema village being the land owners, which was agreed by the previous deans.
However, when their demand was not fulfilled, the MYO representatives got agitated and sealed the office of the dean. Sources said that the Medzhiphema Village Council had also earlier requested the dean to consider their requests but was turned down flatly by the dean expressing inability to grant them their request. The matter was again taken up by the MYO.
When contacted, dean of SASRD Prof D.P Sharma said the MYO sealed his office when he expressed inability to meet their demands from his level.
Asked whether it was a practice allotting a seat to the Medziphema village, he said, “If it was a practice, it was a wrong practice and he could not continue such practice.”
Prof Sharma said that the matter was being taken up by the additional deputy commissioner, Medziphema and expressed hope that matter would be resolved soon.

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