Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 29
The Department of Sociology is up in arms against Vice-Chancellor Arun Kumar Grover’s move of appointing Prof Suresh Sharma of the Department of Statistics as director of the Population Research Centre (PRC).
As per the letter to the VC dated March 26, the faculty said, “By trying a new narrow experiment by equating the Population Research Centre (PRC) with the Statistics, we strongly feel that you are going to destroy vision with which the PRC has been conceived and functioning, physically located in the Department of Sociology right from the beginning.”
They said the “move to dissociate the centre from the Department of Sociology will also gravely damage the ongoing as well as future expansion of our department since population studies is one of the thrust areas in the UGC-SAP programme awarded to the department, which is currently a centre for advanced study (CAS)”.
The faculty wanted that a teacher from the Department of Sociology should be heading the PRC and rued that they were not even taken into confidence before appointing the new director.
The PRC was established 39 years ago by Prof VS D’Souza, Prof PN Pimpley, Prof SL Sharma and Prof KC Kaistha of the Department of Sociology.
“We as a department working on the principle of shared responsibility and feel distressed at such a move to desecrate our academic traditions,” said the teachers. The faculty had come to meet the VC on March 21 to request him to consider his decision.
“We are pained at the treatment meted out to us as a faculty. We were only protesting about something which deals with the future position and ranking of our department, which merited a more responsive hearing by your good self, rather than your leaving the meeting in a huff, without even listening to us,” said the teachers.
“It is a Centre’s project. Any professor from the departments of sociology, economics or statistics can become director of the Population Research Centre. Earlier also, teachers from other departments had worked as directors like Prof Rumina Sethi,” the VC said.
“They had hidden that teachers from other disciplines had also become directors in the past. Intemperate tone and language has become a norm with some people when false accusations cannot be sustained,” said Prof Grover.
CMJ varsity issue in Syndicate meeting
The validity of degrees awarded from CMJ University of Meghalaya would come up for discussion again, but this time, papers submitted by Senator Ashok Goyal are also part of the agenda. Goyal said, “We have submitted the RTI information that degrees were declared invalid by the state government.” Last time, the issue was deferred in the Senate. As the CMJ has been issuing clarifications that PhD degrees issued by them are genuine, the Senate had decided to approach the Meghalaya Government about these clarifications.
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