NIPER students steadfast in support to terminated teacher
SAS Nagar, March 30, 2013
SAS Nagar, March 30, 2013
The protest by the students of the National Institute of Pharmaceuticals Education and Research (NIPER), against the termination of a whistle-blower teacher, Prikshit Bansal, entered the third day on Saturday.
All negotiations between the students and NIPER authorities failed. The students, who have been sitting on a protest outside the gate of the institute, have claimed that the termination of Bansal would affect their research work. This is the first time ever that NIPER students have staged a protest. Intensifying their strike, the students have threatened to proceed on a hunger strike from Monday in case their demands are not met. Students have been raising slogans against corruption. They have also demanded NIPER management to explain allegations of misappropriation of funds. The students have also demanded the extension of Dr Bansal's contract. He had been teaching 60 students and was a guide for projects of 16 students. The students have said that his abrupt termination had affected their academics. The management has, however, claimed that this decision can only be taken by the board of governors.
Students form committee against corruption
For the protesting students, the allegations of corruption have damaged the reputation of the institute. Students have now constituted a committed - NIPER Students Against Corruption in Academia (N-SACA). The committee has submitted questions to the officiating director of NIPER regarding allegations of corruption and demanded a reply from him. Students claimed that NIPER was managed on the tax-payers' money, which should not be wasted in any manner.
Support pours in for students
Unions of the scientists and non-teaching staff have also extended support to the students. In case the deadlock is not broken, these two unions are also expected to sit on protest from Monday.
Students have demanded a written reply from NIPER management on several issues. Here are some of their demands. Students have demanded the copy of a report on action taken by the NIPER board of governors if there was complaint of misappropriation of funds by Prikshit Bansal. Students have asked the officiating director to explain why a department of intellectual property rights not set up at NIPER, though it had been approved in the 11th Five-Year Plan and Rs.2.25 crore had also been released to NIPER. They have also questioned the management on a 'new specialisation in R&D' management, which has not been set up till date. They have also questioned the management about a PhD programme in the “MBA department”. They have said that the programme has not been started, though funds are received every year. Students have also sought details about the procedure used for terminating Prikshit Bansal