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NEHU VC takes charge amidst protests
Correspondent SHILLONG, OCT 11:
Published on 12 Oct. 2010 12:50 AM IST
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Eminent Indian Bio-chemist A.N Rai Monday took charge as vice chancellor of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) amidst protest from various students’ organisations, even as the organisations set a day’s deadline for his resignation.
Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma, who also appraised the Centre on the ongoing imbroglio in NEHU over the appointment of Rai as vice chancellor, said that the issue should have been handled properly.
“A central team should have visited the state to find and sort out the imbroglio in the university before appointing a new vice chancellor,” Sangma told reporters. Rai, a former vice chancellor of Mizoram University was appointed by President Pratibha Patil after Pramod Tandon completed his tenure as vice chancellor of NEHU on September 12.
“We will not accept Prof Rai as our vice-chancellor for his tainted credentials in Mizoram University. We have given him a day’s time to quit as vice-chancellor,” Kynpham Kharlyngdoh, chairman of the Coordination Committee, said.
The Coordination Committee is comprised of Meghalaya Post Graduate Students’ Union, the Khasi Students’ Union, NEHU Unit and the A’chik Post Graduate Students’ Union.
Rai has been accused by the Mizoram Students’ Union (MSU) of violating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and misinterpreted the illegibility rules of the University Grants Commission rules for appointment in the post lecturers.
On September 15, 2009, the Mizoram University signed a MoU with the MSU that 6 qualified local candidates would be called for interview for recruitment of various vacant posts under the University. However, Rai appointed non-local lecturers to the post, thus violating the letter and spirit of the MoU.
“If Prof Rai continues his office we have no other option but to agitate to force him to quit the post,” Kharlyngdoh said.
However, Rai termed the protest as an ‘attempt by few people to remove’ him from the post. “People would soon realize and these allegations against me are not true. I hope they will know me more through my work,” he said. When asked if he was going to bow down to the students’ protest, Rai said, “I have been appointed by the President on the recommendation of the search panel. Therefore, I am still honouring this appointment.”
Rubbishing the allegations against him as vice chancellor of Mizoram University, the new NEHU vice chancellor said, “If anyone wants to know the truth, they should visit the university (Mizoram) and find out the fact rather being content with the wild rumours against me.”
Meanwhile, Deans’ Committee has appealed to the agitating students’ to maintain peace and academic atmosphere in the campus.
The Deans’ Committee, which met at the office-chamber of the new vice chancellor, also extended their support to Rai to ensure the development of the university.
Earlier, two powerful organisations - KSU and FKJGP urged the President to revoke the appointment order of A. N. Rai as vice chancellor of the NEHU.

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