Port Blair, Sept 30: The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration (ANA) and team of senior officers had a detailed discussion with a large delegation of stakeholders comprising of students of DBRAIT, leaders of various Political Parties, PRI members, representatives of important NGOs and Civil Society Organizations regarding various issues raised by students of DBRAIT. Chief Secretary emphasized that the academic future and interests of the students are paramount in the Administration’s consideration andreiterated the resolve and commitment of the ANAto take all steps to secure the same.
It was noted that for the past few months, the students of DBRAIT have been protesting on various long-pending issues related to Pondicherry University, which is their affiliating university like non-recognition of Diploma courses of MSBTE by Pondicherry University, non-extension of affiliation by University, non-conduct of exams for Lateral Entry students for last 2 years by the university etc. However, the ANA has been fully in support of the students’ cause and is taking all measures with fullest vigour and force to ensure that genuine interests of the students’ are not affected due to any unilateral actions by any authority, especially PU.
Chief Secretary informed the gathering that many vexatious issues of PU with DBRAIT, which had remained unresolved for the past 3 years, were resolved after the consistent interventions, untiring endeavour and vigorousefforts of the ANA with all stakeholders including Pondicherry University, Ministry of Education, GOI andrelevant judicial forums. In this context, it was explained that the ANA has successfully resolved the following niggling issues, to the satisfaction of the affected student community at Port Blair –
1) Conduct of university examination for all students of DBRAIT.
2) Issuance of Timetable for exams of Lateral entry students (batch 2020-21 and 2021-22, including pending papers since 2 years).
3) Re-issuance of timetable for exams of Lateral Entry students in a staggered manner. (batch 2020-21 and 2021-22 including pending papers since 2 years).
4) Clarification pertaining to authenticity of MSBTE (Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education) have been issued. MSBTE have re-confirmed the authenticity of the affiliation accorded to Diploma program of DBRAIT.
Further, the Administration has taken up matter with the Pondicherry University for speedy grant of affiliation to DBRAIT (Degree Program) for the year 2022-23. The ANA is also pursuing the PU to allow students,who could not appear for university exam in the past month due to fear of signing the Undertaking,to re-take the examinations. In addition, it was impressed upon the students and other stakeholder representatives that the ANA will continue to pursue and seek resolution of any other issue or perceived grievance of the students with the relevant authorities, and remain open to all inputs anddiscussion.
The Chief Secretary also assured the students that ANA is committed to act in an impartial and stern manner on any complaint against any individual and the matter would be dealt under the framework of extant laws and rules. However, complaint against any individual cannot be used as a ruse/ stratagem to jeopardise the academic career and future of the students and students are requested not to fall prey to vested interests or rumour-mongers.
The students are advised that outstanding issues, if any, can only be resolved through dialogue with the Administration and appropriate authorities like PU, within the contours of the law and rules in force. Administration is keen to engage with all stakeholders, including students, and remain available at any time for early resolution of issues.
For this purpose, a High Level Committee of senior officers of A&N Administration under the chairmanship of Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Education) with Secretary Home, Secretary Education, DC South Andaman and Joint Secretary (Higher Education) as members has been constituted. During the discussions held with various stakeholders, the Chief Secretary requested the students to approach the High level Committee with any issues, grievances and concerns relating to the larger academic interests and the High Level Committee will convene meeting with the student community/Stakeholders at short notice as per the urgency of the case. The student community is thus notifiedto submit their nominations for the Committee to Joint Secretary (Higher Education).
Further, students have been advised to refrain from any disruptive protest/agitation. Yesterday’s agitation by the students has caused huge public inconvenience to the noble people of ANI. Many people have missed their flights, there have been obstacle/delays in ambulance movement in medical emergency, school children and public were stuck/ stranded in traffic for hours. This kind ofunruly and disruptive activity brings disrepute and disgrace to the peace-loving and amiable people of ANI and dents its tourist-friendly image. The entire incident is being enquired into.
It is emphasised that dialogue and discussion is the only acceptable route for any resolution in a civilised, cultured and peaceful society like ours. ANA and its officers remain available and open to discussion on all issues, but in an amiable, dignified and peaceful manner and is committed to the resolution of all outstanding issues to secure the academic interests and future of students in ANI.