Published: 09th February 2024
"Don't stand with students defaming college": MGAHV Registrar on protests, alleged unlawful VC appointment
"The university is trying everything possible to keep the students safe," says the registrar of the institute
Several questions have been raised against the alleged unlawful appointment of the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGAHV) in Wardha, Maharashtra. Students, claiming that the VC has not been appointed as per the rules laid down by the college, have resorted to protests and hunger strikes. And for doing the same, they suffered consequences as they were issued suspension and expulsion notices.
Case in point, Vivek Mishra, a final-year student at the MGAHV who was shifted to Government Medical College (GMC), Nagpur, today, February 9. He was on a hunger strike, protesting outside his college from February 1, concerning his "unclear" reasons for suspension.
Quite a few suspension and expulsion notices were issued to students who were involved in protests, including the one on Republic Day, January 26, where students raised their voices against the VC's unlawful appointment.
The atmosphere is clearly tense and in this context, EdexLive reached out to Dharvesh Katheria, Registrar of MGAHV to understand why such orders were issued against the students without offering them a chance to present their side and more importantly, regarding the alleged unlawful appointment of the VC. All of these questions were addressed directly by the registrar who emphasised again and again that they stand with the students, no matter what.
When were these high-level meetings convened regarding the suspensions and expulsion of students?
If any incident happens in this institution, the Warden and Proctorial Board take cognizance. Next, if the matter has more layers and if it branches further, only then do we consider constituting a special committee. A high-level committee is inclusive of several parties such as professors, the Dean of Student Welfare (DSW), and proctors — these authorities collectively sit to decide on the matter. The proctor is not always involved. If we see that the matter is turning out to be important, then the professor and wardens play a crucial role.
I was not a part of this committee. If any authority in power such as the court asks us about this committee, we will show them the official document which mentions information about the committee.
Students are alleging that they were not given a chance to put forth their point, and because of this, their future is now in jeopardy...
We listen to the other person's side only when there is a lack of evidence. However, in this case, we have live CCTV footage and police officers were present on the spot. Everything is out on social media platforms, everything is visible.
Any comments on the alleged unlawful appointment of the VC, against which the students have been allegedly protesting
According to the rules made by this university, if any chancellor resigns from his/her designation, then the senior most authority present, has to take charge. This procedure was followed. As the previous Vice-Chancellor (VC) left, the senior professor Lela Karunkara was given the charge. As he was an administrator, he was appointed as a temporary VC. The Education Minister had the right to arrange a VC for us, and that is how Bhimrao Metri was appointed. How could we stand against the Education Minister’s decision?
Amongst 18,000 students, only two to four students have a problem with the decision and it is these students who are defaming college authorities on social media, we all should understand what it means.
If a person comes from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) to our college, it is a matter of privilege. If the VC had been appointed in the wrong way, we certainly would have not approved of it. If this matter was wrong, even the court must have surely passed a decision on this matter accordingly. If there is no decision yet, that means there is nothing wrong with what has happened or what is happening.
Following the various alleged attacks, students expressed that they don't feel safe on campus. Your comments
The university is trying everything possible to keep the students safe. We are a family. It is our responsibility to take care of all the students.
Additionally, we request the rest of the students not to stand in solidarity with these protestors who are defaming the college’s image. If a student is facing any problem, they should immediately come to the college authority, and we are here to help them.
Students who are here to study will never participate in such activities. Out of 18,000 students even if 200 students protest, we will favour the students. We want to stand with students. The administration is here to support students.