Arson in Manipur University over Reservation Policy: VC In-charge resigns

The agitation of the students from Manipur University following the change in the reservation policy of the university and consequential delay in the admission procedure has taken a violent turn this week. After an arson on the university campus on Monday night, the vice chancellor in-charge M Dhaneshwar has resigned from his post.

Manipur University
Image: The Telegraph

The university has suspended all classes indefinitely after the reported violence on the university campus. The violence was believed to be triggered by the “failure” of the academic council to take a decision on the reservation issue during its meeting which was eventually adjourned.

According to a report, student agitators set the recreation hall, a computer shop and a restaurant on fire, and the structures were completely destroyed. Two more teachers’ rooms were also found damaged due to the fire. Students demanding completion of the administration procedure held demonstrations on the campus as the academic council’s meeting was in progress on Monday.

The delay in the admission process of the post-graduate courses has been allegedly caused by the change in the reservation policy of the university. As per a report by The Telegraph, the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) directive is in contradiction with the Manipur High Court’s verdict that had upheld the reservation policy in accordance with the amendment of the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006. Following the court verdict, two per cent of the seats were reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SC), 31 per cent for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) and 17 per cent for the Other Backward Classes (OBC) during the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16.

However, according to the Telegraph report, UGC directed the university to follow the central reservation policy, which suggested that it wanted the university to follow the reservation policy it had implemented since 2009-10 until the HC verdict in 2012. This policy directed the university to provide reservation for 15 per cent for SC, 7.5 per cent for ST and two per cent for the OBC.

The academic council of the university decided during a meeting on May 30 this year to follow the policy adopted by the UGC, which has been a reason behind the protest and the agitation by the students of the university.

M Dhaneshwar had assumed the role of VC In-charge since the retirement of former VC H. N. K. Sharma in August, this year. Dhaneshwar was supposed to meet the officials from UGC and HRD ministry in Delhi on October 4. However, after announcing the stalling of the classes in the university, he cancelled his scheduled visit and put resigned from his post, as per the news reports.



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