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Ananda Bose

Bengal Governor, Education Minister clash over university appointments

April 4, 2024

Following Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu’s recent characterization of him as ‘insane’ amid discussions on operational confusion in state-run universities, Governor CV Ananda Bose countered on Thursday, revealing that such remarks surfaced after he had already approved names for interim vice-chancellors, as suggested by the minister.

Governor Bose emphasized that Basu’s accusations were an attempt to tarnish his relationship with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, his constitutional colleague.

“Minister Shri Bratya Basu has labeled the Governor as ‘insane’ and suffering from Alzheimer’s. This comes at a time when, as per the Chief Minister’s request, the Governor has accepted all four names proposed by the Minister for appointment as interim VCs of the vacant universities,” stated a post on the Raj Bhavan’s social media.

The post continued, “The Governor feels that the Minister is damaging the relationship between the Governor and the Chief Minister, whom the Governor holds in very high regard.”

Additionally, the governor’s office issued ‘strict’ warnings to VCs who “obstruct” university activities by citing the state education department’s “illegal” orders, contradicting Supreme Court rulings.

“Chancellor issues strict warning to those Vice-Chancellors who obstruct or impede University activities by referring to illegal orders from the Department of Higher Education of the Government of West Bengal, which are contrary to Supreme Court judgments. This is to safeguard the interests of the student community,” the post asserted.

Basu had also accused the governor of taking “illogical and inconsistent steps” concerning the functioning of state universities.

In response, Governor Bose issued a statement on Wednesday night reaffirming his commitment to protecting the autonomy of these institutions against government interference.

Bose emphasized that the chancellor, as the university’s head, has the right to communicate directly with the VC, and vice versa, without involving additional authorities.

He criticized rules passed by the West Bengal assembly in December 2019, which aimed to establish an intermediary body between the chancellor and the VC, thereby undermining university autonomy.

Source: PTI

Also read: Bengal VCs not included in UGC panel, says education minister Bratya Basu

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