Save Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Bihar from dictatorship of VC Arvind Agrawal

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Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari is the youngest and probably the tiniest central university in India currently at the end of its second academic session. About 50 (out of 70) teachers of this university are on an indefinite protest for the second time. Among those dissatisfied with the administration are the teachers in charge of 4 three departments, three deputy proctors, Ex-warden of Girls Hostel, Assistant Warden of Girls Hostel, Warden of Boys Hostel. Why are all these people against the administration? The teachers on the fourth day of their protest have announced a hunger strike since 4th June 2018.

Since the first day the faculty members joined the University, theyare continuously threatened with termination by the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor himself. He said, “I can terminate you within 5 seconds and the hon’ble Supreme Court can’t even save you. I have enormous powers as the Vice-Chancellor”. For no reasons whatsoever, the faculty members were threatened in public platforms by the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor. Not only that they were made to write their undated resignation letters under duress which could be used against the faculty members any time the hon’ble Vice-Chancellor is pleased to do so.

Fear of Termination in the University

In Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor has, on many occasions, threatened the faculty members with termination during probation period in public platforms.

Two faculty members Dr Shashikant Ray and Dr Amit Ranjan were actually terminated during the probation period without citing any reason whatsoever. Due to the righteous intervention of the Executive Council, these two faculty members were reinstated in the University unconditionally.

·       Many faculty members were forced to write undated resignation letters viz.Dr. Atul Tripathi, Dr Sandeep Kumar, Mr Om Prakash Gupta and Dr Artatrana Pal. The services of one of them (Dr Sandeep Kumar) have already been terminated. Others are afraid that their resignation letter will be used against them in future.

·         When the faculty members met the Vice-Chancellor regarding the unlawful Show Cause Notice issued to Dr Buddhi Prakash Jain, he threatened Dr Jain for taking wrongful means. Upon questions by Dr Atul Tripathi, the Vice-Chancellor asked him to what he may, but he won’t return the Resignation Letter.

Gross Violation of Reservation Rules

·         The university hasn’t released its roster for Teaching positions.

·         Contrary to the University ordinances wherein it’s stated that the minimum marks for undergraduate courses will be 50% and 45% for general and reserved categories respectively, the University increased the marks to 60% and 55% instead despite opposition from the faculty members.

·         Students from reserved categories who scored higher marks were not included in unreserved category which led to the deprivation of many deserving candidates among the reserved categories.

·         Till now, the University has not instituted SC ST Cell to safeguard the rights of the underprivileged.

Show Cause Notices used to terrorise teachers

·         The university has continuously served Show Cause notices without any valid reason against faculty members.

·         Dr Atul Tripathi was first served Show Cause Notice for wearing jeans in the campus which is a violation of Right to Life. He was later made to write his resignation letter under duress.

·         Dr Buddhi Prakash Jain was served Show Cause notice for applying for No Objection Certificate for attending an interview which is against the Right to choose one’s profession.

·         Faculty members’ leave application are not approved in due time and even after submission of due applications they are served Show Cause notices for being absent without information. Dr Babita Mishra was served such a Show Cause Notice.

Blackmail of teachers on account of false Sexual Harassment Charges

·         Till now the University has not instituted any body to prevent Sexual Harassment in the university. 

·         The University has pressurised many female students to press charges of sexual harassment against faculty members.

·         The charges of sexual harassment should be dealt with appropriately and the teachers should be served notices within 90 days. However, neither any action takes place, nor any teacher is served a notice. But they are blackmailed by the University administration covertly or overtly on many occasions.

·         The University has placed HD quality CCTV cameras in the Faculty rooms of Assistant Professors and also in the chambers of Deans and other Associate Professor and it is rumoured that they also record sound as well as visuals.

·         Through the footage of these recordings faculty members are often threatened of vengeful action by the administration.

·         The presence of CCTV cameras in the chambers of Male and Female faculty members is a symbol of the patriarchal gaze upon the female space. Many faculty members feel suffocated under this atmosphere of surveillance and this act is a violation of right to privacy.

Keeping the important positions vacant

·         The University has kept its significant administrative positions vacant so that the illegal activities can be carried out by the administration.

·         At this juncture, the University doesn’t have a regular Registrar, Finance Officer, Controller of Examinations, Librarian, Medical Officer and Legal Advisor.

Deduction of NPS amount without deposit

·         The University has regularly deducted the NPS amount from the salary, but till now has not deposited a single penny in the NPS accounts of the faculty and the staff.

·         Till now there is no Medical Insurance scheme or medical facility of any kind for the faculty and staff the University.

·         At this juncture, if any one goes through medical exigencies, she/he will be utterly helpless and can claim no respite from the University administration.

No facility for students

·         Probably Mahatma Gandhi Central University has the highest semester fee for a simple BA course of about 18500 almost four times higher than the fee of Central University of South Bihar.

·         Due to the protests by the students, the students were promised that the fee will be reduced, but no action has been taken in this regard yet.

·         After three semesters, the students haven’t received their marksheets yet.

·         For playing Holi with their teachers, the students were fined with 1000 rupees each and they were threatened with rustication. To quote the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, “I can rusticate you within 5 seconds and you can’t get admission in other institutions for 3 years.”

At such a University, teaching for a day is a battle for survival. Due to the highhandedness of the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor the entire academic atmosphere is vitiated. It’s definitely not a place, “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high”.