The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Room for guardians in governance of CU colleges

Calcutta, Jan. 27: A plan is afoot to include parents in governing bodies of colleges under Calcutta University.

The university will soon amend its statutes and restructure the composition of the governing bodies in over 200 colleges.

College governing bodies now have 14 members, eight of whom are teachers.

A higher education department official said: “In the existing system, there are too many teacher members in the governing bodies. The system is defective as it only protects the interests of the teachers.

“Governing bodies have failed to take punitive measures against errant teachers because of this fault in the system.”

Instead of having that many teachers in the decision-making bodies of colleges, the government has proposed the inclusion of guardians for the first time. It has asked Calcutta University to include at least two guardians’ representatives in the panels.

Governor Viren J. Shah, the chancellor, had recently written to the authorities of Calcutta University asking them to take appropriate steps to amend its statutes concerning the constitution of college governing bodies.

Realising the problem of having too many teachers in the panels, the government decided to reorganise the composition of the bodies last year.

The West Bengal Council for Higher Education prepared the draft of the new composition and sent it to the university for final approval. In the recent letter from the chancellor’s office, the varsity authorities have been asked to complete the restructuring process in a month.

“The composition of the governing bodies of colleges needs to be reorganised keeping in mind the large number of new courses, especially those where the students are self-financed, that are coming up. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has also given us some guidelines for the purpose,” said Nirmalya Banerjee, the deputy secretary of the higher education council.

After receiving the letter from the chancellor’s office, the varsity authorities discussed the proposal at a syndicate meeting. A committee was set up to work on the proposal.

“We had the first meeting of the committee last week and hope to complete the procedure soon,” said Ranajit Basu, a member of the university syndicate and general secretary of an organisation of college principals.

Education department sources said, in the existing system, a college governing body has four members who are teachers of that particular institution. The four other teachers in the panel are from other institutions and they represent the government and the university.

In the proposed system, the government wants two teachers from the institution. No teacher who is still in service would be allowed in the governing body as a representative of the government and the university.

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