In a significant development, West Bengal governor, CV Ananda Bose appointed officiating vice-chancellors of 15 state-aided universities including the prestigious Presidency University on Sunday night and directed all university officers to seek clearance of their respective VCs before implementing any state government order.
The governor who is also the chancellor of all state universities, had recently appointed himself as the VCs of most of the universities where he appointed the officiating VCs last night. He had said that he took the decision to appoint himself the VCs of those universities considering the inconvenience caused to students because the universities were running without a head for a long time.
State education minister, Bratya Basu on Monday came down heavily against the move and described the act of the governor as ” dictatorial.” He said the education system in Bengal will soon be destroyed if the governor continues to act in this manner.
According to him, the governor took the decision violating the provisions of the bill passed by the state government for running state-aided universities where the role and funfunctions of the governor in the capacity as chancellor have been clearly explained.
The education minister said the government will not remain silent spectators to such acts and appropriate action will be taken.
“He (the governor) is acting in a dictatorial manner. He is taking all decisions without consulting anybody. He is destroying all the statutes of the state universities,” the education minister said at a press conference.
Justice Subhrakamal Mukherjee, who was recently appointed as the interim VC of Rabindra Bharati University by the governor, will be also the officiating VC of Presidency University. He took over the charges at Presidency University on Monday afternoon.
Sources at Raj Bhavan said that initially the governor appointed interim VCs for seven universities on Sunday. Late at night the appointment letters were sent to interim VCs to seven more taking the total count to 14 universities. An official of the state higher education department said the governor appointed interim VCs to 15 universities since Sunday.
A circular issued by the governor’s office said: “According to the West Bengal State Universities Acts, the vice-chancellors shall be the principal executive officer of the university and all the other authorities shall act in accordance with directions issued by the respective VCs.”