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SC instructs Bengal governor to appoint 6 VCs from state government’s list

April 17, 2024
Mita Mukherjee

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Bengal governor C V Ananda Bose, who is also the chancellor of all state-aided universities, to appoint six suitable persons as vice-chancellors of six universities, including Jadavpur University from a list of names provided by the state government.

 Attorney General R Venkataramani, appearing for the chancellor, informed the top court that he had approved six names from the list sent by the Mamata Banerjee government.

The Supreme Court order said:  “Learned Attorney General, at the outset, points out that six vacancies of Vice-Chancellors will be filled up by appointing the candidates out of the list recommended by the State Government. In the interest of educational institutions, let the needful be done within a week. The State Government may, meanwhile, send some more names for the remaining vacancies.”

The attorney-general made the submission while the apex court was hearing the state government’s challenge to the governor’s powers in appointing an interim VC bypassing the higher education department.

The top court said the state might also consider setting up a search committee later for short-listing of candidates who may be appointed as vice-chancellors in the remaining state-aided universities. Bengal education minister Bratya Basu welcomed the order.

“Six to start with! Definitely will end (in) thirty-one. Hopefully, the honourable Supreme Court will instill some good sense in Raj Bhavan,” Basu posted on X.

Raj Bhavan, too late in the evening issued a press statement welcoming the order saying that the top court had reaffirmed that the chancellor is the appointing authority of vice-chancellors and not the state government.

“The Hon’ble Supreme Court has passed interim orders today that the Chancellor Dr CV Ananda Bose can appoint interim Vice-Chancellors to the universities where the position of the VCs is vacant.

A few weeks back the Hon’ble Supreme Court had suggested that the Governor and the Chief Minister meet over a cup of coffee and try to sort out the issues in University administration. Accordingly, Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister and Dr C. V. Ananda Bose, Governor met twice. Subsequently, the Government gave a list of 31 names to be considered for appointment of interim VCs to all the State-aided Universities. However, the Governor decided to choose four names from the list for appointment as interim VCs in those Universities which remained headless. This has been endorsed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, once again reestablishing that the Chancellor and not the Government is the authority to appoint VCs……” the statement said.

Also read: Bengal governor orders inquiry into university campus misuse before elections

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