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Bengal government not to ‘recognise’ interim VCs chosen by governor

June 3, 2023

Mita Mukherjee

The tiff between the Bengal government and state governor C.V. Ananda Bose aggravated on Friday with state education minister Bratya Basu announcing that the state government would not recognize 10 out of 11 interim vice-chancellors including Calcutta University and Jadavpur University.

Basu reiterated his allegation against the governor, who is also the chancellor of all state universities, that the government was completely kept in the dark about the appointment of the 11 interim VCs. He once again reminded that the academics were given the appointments of the interim VCs without consultation with the education department.

“We will not recognize the interim vice-chancellors. The chancellor has appointed the interim vice-chancellors without holding consultation with the education department with an intention to establish control over the campuses,” the minister told reporters at a press conference.

Citing an order of the apex court, the minister said: “ In an order related to similar issues, the Supreme Court has said that the governor will appoint VCs in consultation with the state government. But this has not been followed in this case,” Basu said.

  On the other side the governor held a meeting with 10 newly appointed VCs at Raj Bhavan where six of them were physically present and four of them attended online.

Later on the sidelines of a function on Friday, Bose told reporters that “consultation does not mean concurrence.”

Basu said that the department had sent certain names for appointment of the interim VCs but the chancellor had not responded.

In a tweet, Basu, on Thursday had “respectfully” urged the newly appointed interim VCs to reject the offer.

Despite the minister’s request, it is learnt that only one of the 11 appointees who has been appointed as the interim VC of Dakshin Dinajpur University in North Bengal has made his stand clear and written to the chancellor that he is not in a position to accept the opportunity.

The remaining 10 interim VCs interacted with the chancellor on Friday.

 Sources in the education department said the government will not recognize the appointments as the procedures that need to be followed according to the provisions of the appointment rules have been violated.

 “ Since the government has not approved the appointments, the new interim VCs can face problems regarding salary disbursement and other financial benefits,” the official said.

Several veteran academics who had served as VCs, accused governor C.V. Ananda Bose for forcing the vice-chancellors to act in violation of rules. According to existing rules all communications between the chancellor’s office and vice-chancellor and vice-versa is supposed to be routed through the education department. The governor had violated this rule by asking the VCs to send  weekly reports to him directly.

Also Read: WB governor selects interim VCs unilaterally, education minister says it is “illegal”

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