The North Eastern Hill University Teachers’ Association (NEHUTA) on September 12 urged the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, to direct the NEHU Vice-Chancellor, Prof PS Shukla, to immediately withdraw the July 12 notification, which directed affiliated colleges to implement the National Education Policy (NEP) without the approval of the Academic Council.
Submitting a report of violation of NEHU Act, Statutes and Ordinances by the vice-chancellor, NEHUTA president Prof Lakhon Kma said, “In view of the violation by Prof PS Shukla as vice-chancellor of NEHU, Shillong, we would like to request your good office as the visitor of NEHU to intervene and ask him to withdraw the letter dated July 12, 2023 issued to the principals of all affiliated colleges of NEHU which was a hasty, unilateral, illegitimate, grossly misleading and inappropriate one, before further damage is done to NEHU.”
“We would like to request you to issue necessary instructions in order to prevent him from functioning in a unilateral and dictatorial manner by misusing his power as the VC and more importantly, to save NEHU and its statutory bodies like the Academic Council from blatant violations and degradation in the academic interest of the University, its affiliated colleges, students who are predominantly tribals and the larger interest of state of Meghalaya,” he added.
Prof Kma said that the vice-chancellor tried to implement the National Education Policy (NEP) at under-graduate level in NEHU affiliated colleges from the session 2023-24 with effect from August 1, 2023 through a letter dated July 12, 2023 issued to the principals of all affiliated colleges of NEHU without the approval of the Academic Council.
As per NEHU statutes and ordinances, the Academic Council is the supreme body on academic policies of the University.
Indeed, it is only in the 110th Academic Council held on May 19, 2023 and the adjourned meeting held on June 2, that the ‘draft amendment’ to OC-8 governing the UG programme under NEP and the ‘draft amendment’ to regulation RC-12 governing the course structure and subject combination for UG programme under NEP was discussed and approved, whose minutes were out vide NO;AC dated June 28
By the time this new ordinance on NEP at UG level was discussed in the 110th AC meeting, the process of admission in affiliated colleges was already completed based on the existing old system and old prospectus of 3-years UG program and not the 4-years UG program under NEP.
Obviously, in the same 110th AC meeting, there was discussion on NEP implementation at UG level. There were different views among the members and the VC as the Chairman on the year of implementation of NEP at UG level in the affiliated colleges, after the members from colleges and other members expressed the difficulties in implementing if from 2023-24 session due to various reasons including the completion of admission process based on old system and prospectus, lack of time to prepare for its implementation, infrastructure and financial support required to implement NEP.
On this, as demanded by the members, a motion was moved from the Chair on the implementation of NEP at UG level in affiliated colleges from 2023-24 session which was defeated since only 5 members raised their hands and majority of the members wanted it to be implemented at the most, from 2024-25 and it was settled that it cannot be implemented from 2023-24.
“However, strangely this resolution has not been recorded in the above mentioned item nor anywhere else in the circulated minutes,” Prof Kma said.
“The VC deliberately manipulated the minutes circulated without recording it properly as per the discussions and resolutions in the aforesaid AC on an item of minutes: AC: 110:2023:5:I(v) with malafide intentions of hasty and forceful implementation of NEP at UG level even when colleges across Meghalaya were not equipped or ready due to lack of time and other serious constraints,” he stated in the report.