West Bengal: University chancellors, VCs skipping meeting, complains Governor

West Bengal governor said vice-chancellors appointments' are made ignoring chancellor and he is being forced to take a strong view of such developments.

West Bengal: University chancellors, VCs skipping meeting, complains Governor West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar (source: PTI)
Press Trust of India | Dec 24, 2021 - 1:01 p.m. IST
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Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday expressed anguish at chancellors and vice-chancellors of private universities in the state for not attending a meeting called by him at the Raj Bhavan here. The governor had earlier invited them to a meeting on December 20 and later rescheduled it on Thursday after officials of the private universities had expressed their inability to attend it, citing the COVID situation.

"It is most unfortunate that chancellors and vice-chancellors of private universities, 11 in number, have not turned up for a meeting with the visitor who is also the governor of the state," Dhankhar said.

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A similar situation was faced in January, 2020 when vice-chancellors of state universities were invited. "These developments are alarming and indicate rule of the ruler and not of law. Such a scenario cannot be countenanced," he said in a videographed address. The video showed that chairs arranged for the meeting at the Raj Bhavan were empty.

"Education scenario @MamataOfficial worrisome as no Chancellor and VC of Pvt Univ turned up for meeting with Governor-Visitor. Shocking unionism," Dhankhar said on Twitter. The governor said the state government is making appointments of vice-chancellors ignoring the chancellor, and he is being forced to take a strong view of such developments.

"I direct all these appointments be revisited. UGC needs to engage into serious probe about private universities as I find they are in breach of several regulations, particularly qua the visitor," Dhankhar said in the video which was uploaded on the microblogging site.

He also said there is a need to focus on improving the educational environment in the state. "It cannot be put under the control of the government, it has to be in accordance with the law of the land," the governor said. Dhankhar had taken strong exception to the chancellors and vice-chancellors of private universities in the state for not attending the December 20 meeting, terming it as an example of fear that pervades the state on account of "authoritarianism in governance".

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Claiming that the stance of the top officials of private universities in the state was indicative of "crystallisation of unionism", the governor had directed that the meeting be rescheduled for December 23. A communication to the private university officials said the premise indicated for not attending the meeting was inappropriate and unacceptable, maintaining that all programmes at Raj Bhavan were conducted with full adherence to COVID protocol and disaster management stipulations.


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