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NEHU teachers urge Union Education Minister to appoint woman as new VC

In a joint statement issued on Friday, the NEHUTA and MeTTA-NEHU also expressed their deep concern at the inordinate and inexplicable delay in appointment of a suitable selected candidate as new Vice-Chancellor of NEHU, which is in the “process for at least last few months back”.

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Shillong: Teachers under the banner of the NEHUTA and MeTTA-NEHU has urged newly appointed Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to immediately appoint a qualified local tribal woman professor as Vice-Chancellor of the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU).

In a joint statement issued on Friday, the NEHUTA and MeTTA-NEHU also expressed their deep concern at the inordinate and inexplicable delay in the appointment of a suitable selected candidate as new Vice-Chancellor of NEHU, which is in the “process for at least last few months back”.

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“The demand is raised considering the all round positive impact of such an appointment, purely from the academic interest and the interest of future of NEHU,” the statement reads.

NEHU, which was established in 1973, is one of India’s premier central universities.

Stating that the search cum selection committee for appointment of Vice-Chancellor has completed its job since long and the file is stuck at some administrative level, the the NEHUTA and MeTTA-NEHU urged the new new Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to appoint a new Vice Chancellor for NEHU.

“The panel is with the Ministry and it is of utmost necessity that the Ministry appoints the right candidate with specific necessary qualification that is needed to lead the University from its present state of freefall,” the statement pointed out.

The name of Prof. Sherwin May Sungoh, who teaches in the Department of Education, NEHU, has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the post of Vice Chancellor of the central varsity.

Besides Prof. Sungoh, the other shortlisted candidates are Prof. Santishree Pandit (Pune University), Dr. Partibha Shankar Shukla (GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Uttarakhand), Prof. Sushil Kumar Tomar (Punjab University) and Prof. Kshiti Bhusan Das (Pro VC, IGNOU Utkal University) have been empanelled for the NEHU top post.

The teacher associations said that in the absence of a new Vice-Chancellor, the “progress of the university is practically stalled”.

“NEHU suffers from serious administrative, academic and financial lapses over last five years that brought down the status and the rank of the University.” the associations claimed.

“Given such an unwarranted slide of NEHU, the earliest central university for the North-Eastern region, the cause of higher education and specialized and professional training of talents from the region and the state of Meghalaya is stunted, as the institutional frame has wilted during the tenure of Prof.S.K.Srivastava,” the NEHUTA and MeTTA-NEHU alleged.

Reiterating that NEHU needs a Vice-Chancellor who is familiar with specific ethno- cultural and linguistic background of the state of Meghalaya and the Northeastern region, the associations said, “NEHU needs a qualified Vice- Chancellor from the local community who is grounded in the specific reality of the University and its cultural context so that students coming from myriad ethnic, tribal and non-ethnic background of Northeastern region and other parts of the country can be given due care and attention for the bright future, which requires a direct connect.”

“In all likelihood, any academician coming from outside the region and removed from local cultural context shall not be able to establish the much needed connect with students and the larger academic fraternity,” the statement stated.

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