Magadh Mahila College Students Protest after Principal's Resignation

Students protest outside Patna University on Friday.

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Patna: Students of Magadh Mahila College in Patna on Friday staged a massive protest outside the college and Patna University office demanding reinstatement of college Principal Prof. Shashi Sharma who had earlier submitted her resignation after the university demoted her from the professor's title to the status of a reader, or Assistant Professor.

Chanting "We Want Shashi Ma'am", girls marched to the Patna University gate and sat on a dharna demanding Prof. Sharma be reinstated or they would be forced to boycott classes until their demand was fulfilled.

Officials tried to placate the students but they refused to budge until they had a chance to meet with the Vice Chancellor (VC). About half an hour later, a student delegation was allowed to meet with the VC who said that the matter was not in his hand and he had referred it to the Governor's office who was the final authority in matters like these.

As reported, Prof. Sharma, enraged by her demotion on technical grounds, tendered her resignation which was accepted by the university. However, later she changed her mind and wanted to withdraw her resignation. Her request was denied by the university officials who said they were waiting for instructions from the Governor's office.

Students of Magadh Mahila College protesting outside the college in Patna on Friday.

Prof. Sharma maintained that she was instructed by the Governor's office to withdraw her resignation but the university officials were indulging in politics because of 'her caste'.

Sharma was promoted under the Merit Promotion Scheme from her readership position to the position of professor in the Political Science department on October 7, 2013. Later in a case filed in the Patna High Court, it was ordered to carry out a review of her promotion due to irregularities in the system.

The review committee then found her promotion was faulty on technical grounds and advised Prof. Sharma be demoted back to her previous position of a reader. On June 30 this year, the Patna University Syndicate issued the order for her demotion leading Prof. Sharma to resign from her post.

Meanwhile, Prof. Bina Rani of the Chemistry department was appointed the new Principal of Magadh Mahila College until the matter was sorted out.

Angry students, vowing to intensify their agitation, praised Prof. Sharma of being a great Principal who, they said, cared about the students and their concerns.

"It was due to her unrelenting efforts; the college got a bigger common room and a better restroom. She truly cares about each and every student and her lectures are very interesting. It would be a shame if she is not reinstated in her old position," said a protesting student.

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