A senior faculty member was assaulted right inside V-C’s office recently triggering a row
Osmania University, in the news for the Telangana agitation over the last two years, is now on boil for a different reason.
An assault on a senior faculty member and former head of the Department of Communication and Journalism, Prof. K. Narender, right inside the Vice-Chancellor’s office has triggered a row between students and teachers reflecting the deteriorating situation and the administration’s inability to deal with the developments.
Angry teachers took out a rally against the attack but even that was obstructed by a section of students. The jostling and pushing at the rally showcased how the relations have soured. The assault on the teacher was the flashpoint of the simmering differences between teachers and students over the Ph.D admissions since the last two years.
Teachers allege that student groups representing various castes were putting pressure on them forcing the “leaders” to be admitted compromising on the norms. The administration, teachers say, has failed to control the militant students, and often ended up supporting the unreasonable demands of students.
Teachers allege that a few students were running the show and not the Vice Chancellor S. Satyanarayana, and such is their influence that even some administrative posts were being decided by them. Deans and Heads of the Department are shocked to receive calls from the V-C and other senior officials requesting them to “compromise with student leaders”, “give them what they want” and “let us work together for this time.”
“None in the recent memory had come up with such requests and it is difficult to digest,” said a senior professor, seeking anonymity. The developments over the last two years on the campus are certainly lending some credence to the inability of the administration to contain problematic students.
The Ph.D admissions in 2011 itself were rocked by controversy where a record number of nearly 1,000 students were admitted. In fact, the admissions office was partially burnt by a group of students when the Ph.D entrance results were declared and a large number of students had failed, including the leaders.
Instead of taking action against the accused, the administration reduced the qualifying mark opening the flood gates, under pressure. The eligible candidates multiplied by over 10 times and the Deans had a tough time with pressures from all and sundry for admissions.
Similarly, the AP State Eligibility Test (APSET) results were also blocked by a handful of students. The V-C was confined to his chambers for four hours even as candidates across the State were waiting for declaration of results.
The V-C succumbed to pressures and did not release the results officially. Neither the police was called to clear them nor was action taken against them. “Such indulgent attitude has emboldened the students leading to assault on a professor right in his chambers,” says a professor. Incidentally, OU was recently chosen as the ‘University with Potential for Excellence’ by the University Grants Commission.