Imphal, February 22: The Human Resource Development Ministry on Friday dismissed Manipur University Vice-Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey from the post with immediate effect.
“The post of Vice-Chancellor is a post of pivotal importance and the entire discipline and ethos of the university revolve around him. As per statute 3(3) of the statues of Manipur University Act, 2005, it shall be the duty of the V-C to see that this Act, the statutes, the ordinance and the regulations are duly observed and he shall have all the powers necessary to ensure such observance. However, it has emerged that Prof Adya Prasad Pandey has failed miserably in performing duties assigned under statute 3(3) of the Manipur University Act, 2005,” said an order signed by Surat Singh, deputy secretary to the Government of India.
Appointed as Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University on October 26, 2016, Pandey was placed under suspension in 2018 after violent protests erupted on campus, which led to the prolonged shutdown of the university.
The protest was launched by the Manipur University Students’ Union, who demanded removal of Pandey, accusing him of financial and administrative irregularities. Later, teachers and other staff members joined the protest.
In his absence, the division bench of the Manipur High Court passed an order appointing Jarnail Singh, former chief secretary of Manipur, as administrator of the varsity, to bring back normalcy on the campus.
Meanwhile, a two-member inquiry committee headed by a retired judge was constituted by the ministry to probe the allegations against Pandey, who was placed under suspension till the completion of the inquiry.
Based on the inquiry report submitted on May 25, 2019, Pandey was served show-cause notice. According to the inquiry report, he was found indulging in financial and administrative irregularities, including misconduct, dereliction of duties, abuse of power and lack of commitment, causing great harm to the academic environment and bringing the varsity into disrepute, said the government order issued on Friday.
It said Pandey could also not justify his 189 days absence from the university. “The frequent absence of the Vice-Chancellor from the headquarters of the varsity affected its academic activities adversely. This displays lack of institutional commitment and his failure to provide effective leadership and guidance to the varsity,” said the order. It said Pandey committed various financial irregularities in purchases and execution of works without inviting tenders in violation of the provisions of General Financial Rules and excess purchases among others.
The financial irregularities, according to the order, were in connection with the 105th Indian Science Congress, installation of smart class system through ITI, Lucknow and purchase of blank mark-sheets and OMR answer copies without the tenders.
“The President of India, on consideration of facts and materials available on record and reply submitted by Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey… in exercise of the power conferred upon him in terms of sections 13 of Manipur University Act, 2005, has been pleased to dismiss Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey from his post with immediate effect,” said the order. (Courtesy: IE)