Visva-Bharati VC Bidyut Chakrabarty ends tenure, Kala Bhavana principal appointed officiating VC
November 9, 2023
As the five-year tenure of Visva- Bharati vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty ended on Wednesday, the university appointed the principal of Kala Bhavana, Sanjay Kumar Mallik as the new officiating VC, a notification issued by the university late on Wednesday said.
There was a possibility that Chakrabarty would be given extension. But there were murmurs that the Narendra Modi government did not grant Chakrabarty’s extension following the controversy over installing plaques without the name of Rabindranath Tagore to mark UNESCO’s heritage tag on Santiniketan.
The university received a notification from the ministry of education on Wednesday afternoon, saying that the principal of Kala Bhavana was appointed to perform the duties of vice-chancellor till a new incumbent was appointed or till further order.
The entire tenure of Chakrabarty who took charges in 2018 was full of controversies and on many occasions the issues turned into political issues.
The latest controversy triggered after a plaque was installed on the campus announcing that Santiniketan is a UNESCO
world heritage site. The plaque installed by the university bears the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ex-officio chancellor of the central university and vice-chancellor Chakrabarty. But the plaque had no mention of Rabindranath Tagore who founded the university in 1921. This led to vehement protests from various quarters and demands for removing the names.
Earlier, another controversy was created after the varsity asked Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to vacate a portion of land where his residence is housed, citing the reason that he had been occupying the land unauthorisedly.
Chief minister, Mamata Banerjee took the side of the economist and handed over certain documents to him as proof to establish that he is not occupying the land illegally.
The Santiniketan Trust which was set up in 1888 by the poet’s father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore, filed a police complaint on November 4 alleging that Chakrabarty did not take the permission to install the plaque in front of the prayer hall which stands on a land that belongs to the trust. Visva-Bharati had filed a counter complaint.
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