AAPSU seeks suspension of PhD admission at RGU

ITANAGAR, 4 Sep: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has sought immediate suspension of the ongoing PhD admission at Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) because of the low number of selected APST students, terming it “anti-tribal and against the interest of the state.”

The union observed that, for the total 138 vacant seats, only 56 APST students have been selected.

It claimed that the results are not in accordance with the university’s objectives as enshrined in the RGU Act, 2006, ie, “To take appropriate measures for promoting innovations in teaching learning process, inter-disciplinary studies and research; to educate and train manpower for the development of the state of Arunachal Pradesh; and to pay special attention to the improvement of the social and economic conditions and welfare of the people of the state, their intellectual, academic and cultural development.”

“In a 100 percent tribal state like ours, this is not only discouraging but a deliberate attempt to deprive the local students of pursuing higher education in the state’s lone central varsity. Whereas APST students could have easily made it to the final list, had they been selected in the UR category,” the AAPSU said in a representation to the RGU vice chancellor, and requested the university authority to put the PhD admission on hold “till native Arunachalee students are given due academic privileges to pursue research in various courses.”

The union also sought rectification of the RGU Ordinance, which it said was “the root cause of these unprecedented anomalies.”

“A fresh committee should be set up to rectify the ordinance as we have learned from reliable sources that the previous committee did not have any local faculty representation. In such a case, it is obvious that the final report would be biased and anti-tribal. We demand the RGU authority to insert a special clause in the amended ordinance, giving priority and exclusive preference to APST students, so that our local students who wish to pursue research are given ‘state special’ entitlement,” it said.

The union also sought “reconstitution of the committee members with at least 80 percent native tribal representatives of Arunachal Pradesh to be headed by a native employee as chairman.”

“The incumbent chairman is a non-native and it is a deliberate attempt from the top officials to marginalize the APST,” the AAPSU claimed.

 “As per the Rajiv Gandhi University Act, 2006, the university is meant to stand for improvisation of intellectual and academic development for the state of Arunachal Pradesh. However, going through the recent result of Rajiv Gandhi University PhD Entrance Test (RGUPET) one can easily make out that the native and tribal students of Arunachal Pradesh have been deprived of their academic privileges by giving priority to other reserved categories like OBC, SC, etc. This is a systematic deprivation orchestrated through the RGU Ordinance, 2021, which needs to be immediately rectified,” the AAPSU said.

Seeking immediate suspension of the admission process in the larger interest of the APST students, and establishment of a mechanism to accommodate the demands, the AAPSU said that it would be compelled to take its own course of action “if the genuine demands of the union are not met.”