Mamata government curtails Bengal Governor’s powers as Chancellor of state universities

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Updated: December 11, 2019 12:03 PM

The Governor had recently alleged that he was not consulted by the state universities on important issues.

West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Jagdeep Dhankhar, west bengalWest Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar

The Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal has decided to curb the powers of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as the Chancellor of universities in the state. As per a fresh notice issued by the state government, the state universities will have the right to call meetings of their highest decision-making bodies without consulting the Governor. All communications between the Vice Chancellor and Chancellor will now be done through the Education department of the state.

The Governor had recently alleged that he was not consulted by the state universities on important issues. He had pointed out that there is policy paralysis in the state in higher education and there appeared to be a ‘black hole’ in the state’s education ministry in matters related to consultations with him.

“In the ministry of higher education, there is a black hole in terms of communication with the chancellor. There is a policy paralysis and I am worried about it. I am doing everything under the sun to see that the education scenario in the universities improves,” he told PTI.

The state government’s fresh diktat comes in a string of ongoing problems between the Trinamool Congress Government and the Governor. Trouble between the two sides began after the Governor went to rescue Union minister Babul Supriyo after the latter was surrounded by protestors at Jadavpur University in September this year. Dhankhar had also visited Calcutta University only to see the vice-chancellor as well registrar absent.

Last week, the Governor had claimed that the state Assembly gate meant for him and other VVIPs was closed. “When I came here the gate meant for Governor and other VVIPS was closed but I went inside through a gate that was opened. Assembly Secretariat is opened throughout the year, assembly not being in session does not mean that the secretariat is closed,” he told ANI.

The gate was closed, even though the state government was informed of the Governor’s visit to the Assembly earlier. Later the Governor had to enter through gate number 4 meant for media persons.

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