A day after the Medical Education Probe Commission (MEPC) recommended to the prime minister to suspend 43 officials for being involved in irregularities while issuing affiliation to private medical colleges, student unions on Monday demanded the resignation of top officials of Tribhuvan University (TU).
The MEPC, which was formed last April to investigate the alleged irregularities in medical education, submitted its report to Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Sunday, recommending action up to suspension against 43 TU officials including Vice Chancellor Prof Tirtha Raj Khaniya, Rector Prof Sudha Tripathi and Registrar Dilli Ram Uprety. The commission recommended taking action against Prof Khaniya, Prof Tripathi and Uprety, who were appointed with the backing of the Nepali Congress (NC), CPN (Maoist Center) and CPN-UML respectively, after they were found involved in irregularities while issuing affiliation to medical colleges.
Under the coordination of Gauri Bahadur Karki, former chairman of the Special Court, the MEPC includes Dr Upendra Devkota and member-secretary Surya Prasad Gautam, joint-secretary of the Ministry of Education as members. Dr Devkota is in London currently receiving treatment after falling sick during a visit to the country.
The students affiliated to Naya Shakti Nepal protested on Monday in front of the Office of TU Vice Chancellor, demanding the immediate resignation of VC Khaniya, Rector Tripathi and Registrar Uprety. They also submitted a memorandum to the Office of VC, demanding not to drag TU in political games.
"We urge the VC, rector and registrar to step down immediately," said Shyambabu Gautam, president of Naya Shakti's student wing. "The officials appointed on the basis of power sharing among the political parties cannot improve the quality of education," he said. "They are involved in irregularities and trying to finish off the country's oldest and biggest university."
Gautam warned that they would stage tough protests if the TU officials did not resign. "It's just a trailer. If they don't heed our call for resignation, we will force them to step down," he added.
After receiving the report from the MEPC, PM Deuba handed it over to Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Gopal Man Shrestha and urged him to take further action.