Monday, February 17, 2014

Faculty-Management tussle leaves students unattended at Vinayaka Missions’ nursing college

GANGTOK, 16 Feb: The Vinayaka Mission Sikkim College of Nursing at Chandmari here has been in the throes of a management crisis with faculty members reportedly going on a resignation spree in protest against non payment of salaries and a prolonged disagreement with the management of Vinayaka Missions Sikkim University over facilities, or rather lack thereof, for the nursing students. The Nursing College was established by the Vinayaka Mission University, here in Gangtok in 2008; the university has its headquarters in South India.
The issues facing the students and faculty members of the college stick out like a sore thumb and those bearing the brunt of this are the students at the college in Chandmari. The faculty members have been on strike off and on for the past almost 2 months now as they have not been paid their due salaries since October 2013, it is informed.
Last week, there was another strike by the faculty which has now led to the reported resignation of 10 staff members. Among those who have handed in their resignations are 6 chemical instructors and 4 lecturers. However, it is not clear whether their resignations have been accepted by the Principal.
Last week when the faculty had decided to stop work, which went of for two days, there was a meeting with the management and it was agreed to by the management that the payment of salaries would be initiated from the very next day. However it seems that they have failed in their word leading to the present situation.
On 15 February, the institute was visited by the Secretary, HRD Department, Thomas Chandy. He had a meeting with the students, some guardians and the faculty as well.
It is informed that the facilities available at the institute are also not adequate. The nursing students have had to put up with both the lack of adequate facilities and the whimsical nature of the strikes by the faculty along with the seemingly casual approach of the university management.
One of the students informs that this problem has been going on for the past almost 3 years as a result of which their education and training has been adversely affected. On average the students are paying over Rs. 1 lakh for their 3 year nursing course.
The HRD Secretary is informed to have assured the students and faculty members that he will meet with the VC and the Pro Vice Chancellor of the SVSU to sort out the issues. The Vinayak Mission University was established here in Sikkim after a bill was passed in the Sikkim Assembly for its creation.
Sikkim United Students Association visited the campus on 11 February, Wednesday, last week and interacted with the students, an SUSA press release informs. The release goes on to details the complaints aired by the students which ranged from irregular classes, lack of qualifies faculty, lack of equipment, the fear that the West Bengal Nursing Council will cancel the institute’s affiliation etc.
SUSA has demanded “proper inspection” of the universities and colleges established in Sikkim at the earliest .

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