Meghalaya varsity students call off protest

Monday, November 8, 2010

SHILLONG - Students of Meghalaya’s North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) Monday called off their indefinite strike against the appointment of A.N Rai as the vice chancellor after Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said he would take up their demand with the central government.

The Meghalaya Tribal Students Coordination Committee (MTSCC) and NEHU Students Union (NEHUSU) has demanded that a local should head the varsity.

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

“We have decided to call off our indefinite strike and will resume our classes tomorrow (Tuesday),” Meghalaya Tribal Students Coordination Committee (MTSCC) Chairman Kynpham Kharlyngdoh told IANS after a meeting with Sangma.

He, however, warned that the students would intensify their agitation if the demand was not met.

Although the state government has a limited role in the appointment of vice chancellors of central universities, Sangma said that the state government would take up the students’ demand with human resource development ministry to find an amicable solution.

“My meeting with the students was aimed at to ensure that their normal classes are resume in the university and we have assured them to take up their demand with centre,” Sangma told reporters.

President Pratibha Patil appointed Rai, former vice chancellor of Mizoram University, as the vice chancellor of NEHU on the recommendation of the search committee headed by Abid Hussain, former Indian ambassador to the US.

The other two members of the committee were R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to Prime Minister’s Office, and former chief election commissioner James Michael Lyngdoh.

However, the students feel that David Syiemlieh, a tribal Khasi and an eminent historian, should be appointed to the post.

Filed under: Education

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