The South Eastern University Council has been dissolved by the University Grants Commission (UGC) two months prior to its expiry, amidst allegations that the move has helped cover up irregularities and malpractices.
A former council member M.M. Abul Kalam who was ousted, told the Sunday Times, “This sudden move by the UGC was consequent to a chain of events. At a COPE inquiry held last month in Parliament on the SEUSL, it was revealed that a recently appointed Council member had a conflict of interest related to procurement activities of the SEUSL”.
“We could not discuss matters raised at the COPE meeting, at the 139th Council meeting held on June 25. Hence, seven members of the Council jointly called for an emergency special meeting of the Council on June 27”, he said.
The Vice Chancellor (VC), by letter of June 29, refused to hold the scheduled meeting. “On June 30, we replied to the VC and stated that his refusal to accede to our request is a clear violation of the Universities Act. We are yet to receive a reply to this letter. Instead, all of us received letters signed by the UGC Chairman calling for our immediate resignation”, he said.
“We were shocked by this sudden decision of the UGC and the turn of events. We requested the UGC chairman to allow us to continue for the remaining two months to establish the corrective measures we took in the wake of the COPE exposure”, he said.
He said they met with Minister of Higher Education S.B. Dissnayake, and made representations.
UGC officials declined to comment on the issue