Raj Bhavan Bengal govt tiff over VC appointment turning murkier

Kolkata, June 3 : The Raj Bhavan-state secretariat tiff in West Bengal over the appointment of interim vice-chancellors (VCs) in different state universities by Governor C.V. Ananda Bose seems to be heading for a murkier turn in the coming days. As many as 10 out of 11 interim VCs appointed by the Governor have taken charge, ignoring Education Minister Bratya Basu's plea to refuse the offer from the Governor's House. Sources in the Raj Bhavan said that besides taking charge, the newly-appointed interim VCs have also taken "oath of commitment" from the Governor. It is learnt that as many as 15 issues were included in the oath. Sources said that the main proposal is that all steps to be taken by the state universities should be "student centric" and "academic centric", avoiding political and communal involvement. "Focus has been given on the introduction of a social outreach programme for the students. Stress has also been given on digital learning and research-based academics. The Raj Bhavan has also proposed the creation of a 'Governor's Golden Group' where outstanding and meritorious students from each state university will be included," a source said. Meanwhile, Basu said that the state government is not approving the appointments of interim VCs, which were made without discussing or taking the consent of the Education Department. He also claimed that officials are discussing with the legal brains as to how to challenge the decision of the Governor. A section in the academic circle feels it is unfortunate that a sector like education has become the ground for tug-of-war between the state secretariat and the Governor's House. According to the general secretary of Jadavpur University Teachers' Association, Partha Pratim Roy, first the state government tried to wrest absolute control over the education sector, and now it is facing retaliation. Recently, the state government had issued an ordinance to rejig the constitution of the search committees for the appointment of VCs. In the proposed search committee, the provision of the state university concerned having a representative has been removed. /IANS


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