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Bengal: Governor excludes academics in VC search committee says minister

September 29, 2023

West Bengal’s Education Minister, Bratya Basu, has accused Governor CV Ananda Bose of excluding any academics from the state in his proposed search committee for shortlisting candidates for the vice chancellor’s position. The governor, in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive on September 15, submitted lists of three to five potential committee members, apart from those put forward by the state government and the UGC.

Basu alleged that the governor’s list overlooked the distinguished academics from the state and suggested that the governor aimed to appoint committee members who would unquestioningly follow his instructions. He pointed out that a similar approach had been taken in the appointment of interim VCs in the past.

Contrastingly, Basu highlighted that the state’s search committee did not discriminate against teachers from either state or central educational institutions. They included an eminent academic from the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in their committee.

According to sources from the Higher Education Department, the search committee proposed by Raj Bhavan included only one representative from West Bengal, who was the Director of IIT Kharagpur. All other suggested names were from outside the state.

The state’s list featured individuals such as former Rabindra Bharati University VC Sabyasachi Basu Roy Choudhury, retired professor from the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics Abhijit Chakraborty, and ISI professor Abhirup Sarkar, among others.

Basu confirmed the names on their list, emphasizing that they did not show any bias towards teachers from state or central organizations.

The Supreme Court division bench is expected to form the search committee after carefully considering the lists submitted by all three parties.

Previously, the state had accused Raj Bhavan of delaying the formation of a search committee to maintain the ruling Trinamool Congress’ influence on campuses for political reasons, rather than granting real autonomy to the institutions.

Source: PTI

Also read: West Bengal: Governor discusses academic and administrative issues with interim VCs

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