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Bengal: Governor meets education minister, VCs of state universities

Bengal: Governor meets education minister, VCs of state universities

January 18, 2023

West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose held a meeting with Vice-Chancellors (VC) of 31 state universities in the presence of Education minister Bratya Basu.

The hour-long meeting on Tuesday, which was later termed as “cordial” by the minister, assumed significance, given the stormy relations the government and a section of VCs had with Bose’s predecessor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who would often criticise the TMC dispensation’s style of functioning.

Dhankhar had on occasions called for similar interactions in Raj Bhavan, but VCs had then skipped the meetings, citing various reasons.

Basu told reporters that both Bose and the university authorities stressed on the need for regular coordination and synergy as they work for the betterment of the education scenario in the state.

“Today’s meeting was held on a positive note. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also recently met the honourable Governor and held fruitful talks with him on multiple issues. In the coming days, both Nabanna (state secretariat) and Raj Bhavan will work in tandem, we hope,” he emphasised.

One of the vice-chancellors, who did not wish to be named, said the governor has advised them to find alternative sources of revenue for universities.

He also suggested that tele-education infrastructure should be strengthened across the state.

Union minister of state for Education Subhas Sarkar, welcoming the development, said that it was imperative for all the stakeholders to be on the same page for the overall welfare of the system.

Sarkar also said that the governor should continue to function as the chancellor of all state universities.

Notably, the West Bengal Assembly, on June 13 last year, had passed a bill to replace the governor with chief minister as the chancellor of state varsities, and Dhankhar had then voiced reservations over the legislation.

Dhankhar had often tweeted alleging that varsities were being “caged” under the TMC rule in West Bengal, and the VCs were forced to act under the directives of the state government

A higher education department official, when contacted, said, “Dhankhar used to summon the VCs directly for a meeting without intimating the higher education department, but the present governor had communicated his wish to the education minister.”

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

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