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Glare on dud varsity sites

Ranchi, May 8: All five state universities were today directed to make websites more effective and “student-friendly” during a meeting chaired by K. Vijay Kumar, adviser to governor Syed Ahmed, also chancellor of varsities.

The review of Ranchi University (RU) in the capital, Vinoba Bhave University (VBU) in Hazaribagh, Kolhan University in Chaibasa, Sido-Kanhu Murmu University (SKMU), Dumka, and Nilambar-Pitambar University, Daltonganj, was held from 11.30am to 2.30pm at Project Building.

On the question of varsity websites, Kumar pointed out that while surfers could access basic details, students — numbering lakhs — could not still download their results or mark sheets.

Kumar also enquired respective V-Cs if projects undertaken in fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14 had a smooth run. They include advanced science centres and model colleges in each varsity as well as new campuses for NPU and SKMU.

Among those present included state HRD department principal secretary D.K. Tiwary, vice chancellors L.N. Bhagat (RU), S.K. Roy (KU), Firoz Ahmed (NPU), R.N. Bhagat (VBU) and higher education director D.N. Ojha, among others. SKMU V-C M. Basheer Ahmed Khan could not make it, but his varsity registrar represented him.

Tiwary told The Telegraph that varsities were told to streamline academic calendars so that students did not have to suffer any time lag.

Kumar also addressed long-pending matters. He asked state HRD department to ensure RU gave the fixed quota of employees to NPU and KU, carved out of the parent varsity.

The meeting also addressed non-teaching employees’ indefinite strike that started in February. Kumar directed state HRD department to ensure the matter be resolved at the earliest at the level of respective varsities. Grievances of striking employees include regular and irregular non-teaching appointments and related anomalies. While the state agreed to give benefits of sixth pay commission and assured career promotions to a section of employees, others, due to the nature of their appointment, were left out of the loop.

SKMU staff cry foul

Dumka: Non-teaching employees of SKMU vented their ire on controller of examination P.K. Rai and a few other officials after it emerged that the meeting in Ranchi failed to resolve the stalemate over their indefinite strike.

“We and our families cancelled the fast at SKMU headquarters on April 29, the day President Pranab Mukherjee attended the convocation. Raj Bhavan and state HRD assured us that positive steps would be taken to resolve the deadlock at today’s meeting. Both Raj Bhavan and the HRD failed to keep their word. We have been duped,” said Alfred Soren, an office-bearer of SKMU Non-teaching Employees’ Association.