Family feud, warring managements put B’luru’s Alliance University students in impossible bind

A family feud is wreaking havoc for 7000 students of a pvt university and its sickening
news Education Thursday, December 01, 2016 - 16:13

Imagine studying in a university that has two “official” websites and two managements. One day you receive an email telling you to attend special classes on certain dates. Few days later another circular cancels these, and tells you exams will be held a few weeks later. Soon another email follows telling you those exam results will not be counted. 

This is the horrible mess that students face at Alliance University, thanks to a feud between members of the Angur family that own the university. 

The university has over 7,000 students and offers over 30 courses in business, law, engineering and design and performing arts.

The trouble started when allegations were made in 2015 against Madhukar Angur, the founder-director and university’s chancellor. After cases of rape were slapped against him, he was replaced by his brother Sudhir Angur as the university’s chancellor in March 2015.

Several students alleged that virtually no classes have resumed since the college was shut for Dasara vacations on September 30.

“On September 28, Madhukar Angur stormed the gates of the varsity and forcefully resumed office as the university’s chancellor. All the teachers were dragged out of the campus and new teachers were brought in. Policemen as well as goons were roaming around in the campus,” alleged one of the varsity’s students.

After the ruckus, classes never resumed, allege students.

On the eve of November 14, Alliance University students had staged a protest at the campus in Anekal, demanding that classes be resumed and the old faculty members be reinstated.

A law student said that the protestors were at the college gate and had barricaded themselves. 

“There were a few security guards as well. We were just holding placards and sitting there. A few senior students and some of their friends came in and demanded that the barricades be removed. We were scared as they were really drunk and wanted to pick a fight. The guards pulled down the barricades although we begged them not to. They came in and started beating us,” the student alleged.

Two other students alleged that Madhukar Angur had given an assurance to waive backlogs (pending exams) and year-backs (years students had to repeat) of those who stood to support his return as Chancellor of the university.

“After the protests happened, I kept getting calls from unknown numbers. No one would talk on the other end. I have also been warned by many people that I am being watched as I was a part of the protest and my friends have told me to be careful. This kind of situation is scary,” a student alleged.

The university has two registrars, one appointed by each brother.

Madhusudhan Mishra, the registrar appointed by Sudhir, told TNM that the rumor regarding waiving of backlogs was true.

However, the Registrar appointed by Madhukar Angur was not available for comment despite many attempts by The News Minute to contact him. Other members of this faction of the management did not respond either. 

The college now has two websites and students say that the confusion is growing greater as they have been receiving contradictory emails about their schedules, dates of attendance, placements, holidays and even exams.

The News Minute has obtained copies of circulars and emails sent to students by both management factions of the varsity, which paint a confusing picture. 
 
(Madhukar Angur and Sudhir Angur)

The college management run from Sudhir Angur’s end had sent students emails in October stating that special tutorials would be held in November for students who missed classes held in October at the BTM Layout campus. These tutorials would only be held at the city campus and not the Anekal one.

A circular issued by Madhukar Angur dated October 30, 2016 stated that the college website had been compromised and hence the new website would be considered the official one. 

It stated that classes would resume from November 2, and dismissed any announcements regarding special tutorials.

Students say that this faction of the management has also announced examinations to be held from December 7 to 19. They have been given 20 questions in each subject, eight of which they would have to answer during the exams.

After this announcement was made, they received an email from Sudhir Angur’s management faction that any exam conducted by Madhukar Angur’s staff would be considered invalid.

“How can an examination be conducted in such an unprofessional manner? It is not how the education system works. We have told the students that they would have to write another exam even if they sit for this one,” said Madhusudhan Mishra, the Registrar appointed by Sudhir Angur.

Some students said that they would not attempt the paper at all and that they are mulling over withdrawing from the course itself, while a few others do not want to risk failing the course and are willing to attempt both examinations.

“We have sent our marks sheets to various colleges. Since it is the middle of the year, it is difficult,” said a law student.

How did this mess begin?

Media reports say that Madhukar Angur lodged a complaint with the police accusing his brother, sister and nephew of conspiring to take over the management of the university and his position as the Director and Chancellor.

His detractors, led by Madhukar’s brother-in-law, GB Chebbi, a retired Deputy Commissioner of Police, levelled allegations of misconduct against Madhukar.

Madhukar shot back, in turn, with accusations that his family members and the varsity’s finance officer, Prakash Budur, had siphoned off huge sums of money and were trying to illegally take over the university management.

He refused to accept Sudhir as the chancellor.

The case is still underway and the government of Karnataka had recently told the media that they were looking to amend the Alliance University Act 2010 and insert a provision authorising a Group-A level officer of the government to exercise powers and discharge functions necessary for the smooth running of the university. 

The proposal was mooted when a one-man inquiry commission had unearthed an alleged Rs 96-crore scam at the Alliance University.

While the family struggles over the legal charges and countercharges, students are caught between two entities trying to manage the college. 

"We want our old faculty back and classes to resume. We want one concrete management to be established and the confusion caused because of the family fight to end. We are tired of two sets of faculty, two college websites and two exam time tables to end. We want them to stop putting our careers at risk," said a student from the varsity.

 

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