RGU reiterates decision to suspend offline classes, close hostels

RONO HILLS, 3 May: Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) has reiterated its decision to suspend offline classes and close the university’s hostels from 1 May under the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation and in conformity with the SOPs issued by the state and central governments.

The university said that the decision has been taken after a series of meetings with the stakeholders and also keeping in view the decision of the government of Arunachal to close down all educational institutions in the state with effect from 1 May.

Informing that Covid-19 positive cases are rising in the campus and a case has been detected in one of the hostels, the RGU administration said that it could not entertain the request of the scholars to remain in the hostels since the hostels are being closed down in order to prevent an outbreak and spread of Covid-19.

“In such a situation, if hostels are kept open, the outbreak of the pandemic would take a critical form in the campus, which would be detrimental and dangerous to the lives of the boarders and the campus dwellers as well. Further, such an outbreak of the virus would be beyond control and might prove fatal for several people,” it said.

Pointing out that all group activities, mass gatherings, etc, have already been banned throughout the state and the country as a whole, the

RGU said that “boarders cannot be allowed to live in the hostels as there is high potentiality of community spread of Covid-19 and students and staff engaged in hostels are at risk.”

The university authority informed the research scholars that, with the exception of their demand for opening of hostels during this period of pandemic, all other issues could be considered and addressed by the university.

On the protest held by research scholars on 28 April in front of the university’s administrative block, RGU clarified that “the university did not initially prevent them from staging protest, although the Disaster Management Act, 2005 is in operation, but when the protestors started entering into the office premises in front of the vice chancellor’s secretariat, staging demonstration and engaged in slogan-shouting by using loud speaker and obstructing the normal functioning of the office and pressurizing to enter the office chamber of the vice chancellor, the university authority was left with no other option but to call the district administration and police forces for maintaining law and order in the university campus.”

As per the university, the student representatives, including leaders of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, were met by the university authority in the first round with the registrar, along with other functionaries of the university, and later on with the vice chancellor, in the presence of police officers, RGU officers and a few others on 28 April and an understanding was reached during the meeting that the students would abide by the notification of the university to vacate the hostels from 1 May.

RGU said that a circular was also issued on 29 April to all the heads of the departments/supervisors for furnishing the detailed modalities and submission of estimate to maintain the laboratory items, including live animals.

The university said that it “always welcomes constructive criticism and dissent from all stakeholders, including the students, but given the present circumstances, when the pandemic is turning worse, the university cannot afford to allow laxity in the name of dissent.”

Regarding the show cause notice issued to research scholar Prem Taba, the university authority said that it has exercised “normal process of addressing an issue or a complaint.”

“Written complaints have been received from different forums/associations against Taba for his unacceptable behaviour in public and on social media platforms,” RGU said.

It also clarified that “there has not yet been any such decision whatsoever to rusticate or discontinue his (Taba’s) scholarship without hearing his point of view or explanation through due process.”

The administration said that “the statement repeatedly carried out in the newspapers and social media platforms, stating that the research scholars are allowed to remain in hostels at various institutions are false and misleading.”

“All educational institutions, both government and private, including hostels, are being closed down from 1 May in the state,” it added.