Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar has assured that he will issue an appointment order for the post of permanent director for the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science & Technology (NERIST).
Javadekar spoke with Arunachal Pradesh Education Minister Honchung Ngandam over the telephone on Friday evening on this issue, even as a students' agitation on the campus entered the fifth day on Saturday. NERIST students have said that they will continue with their agitation till they are given proof of the appointment order. This was disclosed by Students' Union of NERIST (SUN) President Banta Natung.
State Governor Brig (Retired) B D Mishra is learnt to have spoken to Javadekar on the issue as well.
Natung said at a meeting of students,"The students neither were against anyone nor interested in the agitation, but our agitation has been going on when the institute's academic atmosphere derailed after the departure of the last director Deepankar Pal on 07.10.14. NERIST ranking has slipped below the top 100 from among the top 20. Now or never."
Ngandam has exhorted the students to end their agitation.
Set up in 1984 as first such institute in India to meet the technological manpower demands of the North East, NERIST has been facing an acute shortage of faculty and non-payment of staff salaries.
"NERIST is a gift of the Congress whose atmosphere deteriorated after Director Pal was thrown out, former MP and state Congress president Takam Sanjoy said.
He squarely blamed Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju for the present situation at NERIST.
"The BJP rules the state and central governments. They would be responsible if anything goes wrong," he said.
"Priority should be attached to NERIST, catering to the education of students from all over India. Any decision in an emergency can be taken within four hours by moving files. Javadekar should know instead of taking the plea of it being a holiday on Friday," he reasoned.