A section of faculty members float a new association
There does not seem to be any indication of an end to the standoff between Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) administration and a section of its students as they boycotted classes and took out a rally inside the campus on Monday demanding revocation of punitive action taken against them.
Later in the day, a section of university faculty members called for an urgent press conference on the university campus and announced the formation of Madurai Kamaraj University Professors Welfare Association (MKUPWA), a rival to Madurai Kamaraj University Faculty Association (MUFA).
M. Nallakaman, president of MKUPWA, said that his association got registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act on December 30.
It would strive to solve issues relating to faculty and students through talks rather than taking a belligerent path as adopted by MUFA.
“Our association will always be supportive of the vice-chancellor unlike some office bearers of MUFA who have been instigating the students to protest against the administration. Out of 213 faculty members in the university, 137 have already become members of our association,” he said.
P. Ganesh, vice-president, MKUPWA, said that the office-bearers of MUFA had been taking decisions on their own without consulting the general body. He also claimed that a majority of the students attended classes on Monday despite the pressure exerted by a handful of students to boycott classes.
On the other hand, denying all allegations, an office-bearer of MUFA, preferring anonymity, said that the decision to support the students’ protest was taken by its executive committee which had been authorised by the general body to take such decisions.
“All those who are part of the new association are either those who had been appointed recently or those who are on the verge of retirement. In fact, around 30 members of the new association have paid subscription for renewing the registration of MUFA this year,” he said.‘Solve problems’
Pointing out that the protest has gone to the public platform with the involvement of organisations such as Students Federation of India, he said that the university administration should try to solve the problems by revoking the action initiated against students rather than attempting to split the faculty members.