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Bihar: Government halts VC salaries for skipping department’s meeting

March 1, 2024

In an unprecedented move, the Bihar government has taken stern action against state-run universities, freezing their bank accounts and withholding salaries of vice-chancellors (VCs), with the exception of Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University. This drastic measure was initiated due to the alleged absence of VCs in a crucial review meeting convened by the education department just two days prior.

The department, through a letter issued to all VCs (excluding Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University), has demanded an explanation for their non-participation in the meeting, which aimed to discuss the status of pending examinations and other critical issues. If satisfactory replies are not received within two days, the department has threatened to file FIRs against the authorities.

The letter, authored by Education Secretary Baidyanath Yadav and obtained by PTI, has further instructed banks not to operate any accounts belonging to the affected universities until further notice. The government’s firm stance is reflected in the letter, which decries the absence of VCs from the meeting, considering it a failure to fulfill their duties as public servants.

Education Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary remained unreachable for comment despite repeated attempts.

This stringent action is not the first of its kind in Bihar. In August of the previous year, the state government had similarly halted salaries of the VC and pro-VC of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University in Muzaffarpur. This action was taken due to alleged failures in inspecting educational institutions under their jurisdiction and non-attendance at a review meeting organized by the education department.

The recent freeze of bank accounts and salary withholdings underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring the active participation of university officials in crucial discussions, particularly those pertaining to the timely conduct of examinations. It remains to be seen how the affected VCs will respond to the department’s demand for clarification within the stipulated timeframe.

Also read: Bihar: Governor cautions education department on Raj Bhavan & university jurisdiction

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