West Bengal Education minister Bratya Basu has criticized the University Grants Commission (UGC) for not including a single vice-chancellor of the state’s 40-odd universities in UGC’s seven-member zonal committee for the east and north-east.
The committee, set up by the UGC is likely to play an important role in effective implementation of certain significant initiatives of the UGC. The panel is also expected to give suggestions on implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP).
“The UGC has constituted 5 Zonal Committees from Vice-chancellors of Central, State, Private and Deemed to be Universities, to facilitate the universities to develop a road map for effective implementation of significant initiatives of UGC,” Basu wrote in his tweet.
“The Zonal Committee for North Eastern and Eastern Zone comprises 7 members –astonishingly none among them are from any of the 40 Universities of Bengal,” Basu said in his post in social media.
“That too at a time when the President of Association of Indian Universities (AIU) is VC of one of our foremost Universities is VC of one of our foremost Universities # Partisan UGC # Dubious intentions,” Basu added in his tweet. Suranjan Das, vice-chancellor of Jadavpur University is the president of the AIU.
— Bratya Basu (@basu_bratya) December 28, 2022
Bengal had on several occasions expressed its reservations in many of the changes in higher education suggested in the NEP. Vice-chancellors of several universities in the state expressed concern over the UGC’s decision to exclude VCs from Bengal in the panel and described the move as “politically biased.”
Some of the well-known universities in Bengal include Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Calcutta University, St. Xavier’s University and Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute (Deemed to-be University).
“It is surprising that not even one of these universities found a place in the committee,” said an official in the state education department.
UGC had earlier issued a notice to the heads of all universities and colleges which read: “ The University Grants has introduced several initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Embedded Degree Programme, Academic Bank of Credits, Multiple Entry and Exit in Academic Programmes, transforming single-stream HEIs into multidisciplinary institutions, Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET), pursuing two academic Programmes simultaneously, Academic Collaborations between Indian and Foreign HEIs to offer Twinning, Joint and Dual Degree Programmes, Internationalisation of Higher education, Professor of Practice, Ph.D Regulations and Curriculum and Credit Framework for Undergraduate Programmes.”
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