Vice chancellors of Bengal varsities fail to turn up for meeting with governor

By: |
January 13, 2020 6:47 PM

One of the VCs, who was scheduled to attend the meeting, said he had other commitments.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, Jagdeep DhankharWest Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar

With no state university vice-chancellor turning up at Raj Bhavan, their proposed meeting with Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar fell through on Monday.

One of the VCs, who was scheduled to attend the meeting, said he had other commitments.

“I had received a letter from the governor, who is also the chancellor of state universities, but could not attend the meeting due to other commitments. To my knowledge, no VC attended the meeting, convened at 11 am today,” he said.

Higher Education Minister Partha Chatterjee could not be contacted for his comment, but sources said there were around 20 state-run universities in Bengal, but none of the VCs turned up for the meeting.

An office-bearer of the Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) said procedural difficulties, following the passage of the West Bengal Universities and College (Administration and Regulation) Act 2017, does not allow a vice chancellor to attend a meeting, without getting a nod from the higher education department.

The Act, passed in early December, specified that “every communication proposed to be made by the Chancellor to any state-aided university shall be routed through the (higher education) department and the VCs have to intimate the department before taking any important decision.”

It was quite clear that the proposed meeting will fall through, the JU office-bearer said.

Dhankhar, after being stopped from attending the annual convocation of Jadavpur University last month, had said “there is a policy paralysis. Universities are in captivity and caged by the state government”.

He had convened a meeting of vice chancellors on January 13 following the incident.

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