Calcutta, Oct. 21: Jadavpur University vice-chancellor Souvik Bhattacharyya has put in his papers following persistent differences with officials close to the Bengal government, varsity sources said today.
According to the sources, Bhattacharyya who had joined JU in August last year from IIT Kharagpur, on Sunday submitted his resignation to governor M.K. Narayanan, who is chancellor of the university.
It is not clear whether the chancellor has accepted the resignation. But sources in the government said they were trying to find an interim replacement.
Tension has been mounting between the officials close to the government and Bhattacharyya for some time, the sources said.
He ran into hurdles at the university’s executive council, the highest decision-making body of the institute, facing resistance from members close to the government.
In the last executive council meeting, Bhattacharyya was forced to form a three-member committee to review the punishment slapped on two Jadavpur University students accused of ragging a junior. The two students had been suspended for one year and six months, respectively.
Bhattacharyya was gheraoed for over 50 hours by students demanding revocation of the punishment.
The vice-chancellor also drew the ire of the government over enforcing a circular on suspending students’ union elections in all state universities in February this year. When students held the vice-chancellor captive for over a day protesting against the suspension of elections, the government held the university authorities responsible for the agitation.
Bratya Basu, the education minister, had wondered how a vice-chancellor could run a university if he could not explain the meaning of a government circular to “little students”.
The government had asked senior department officials to probe why the vice-chancellor was failing to explain the meaning of the circular.
Differences had also emerged over a decision to introduce a common entrance test for postgraduate admission in state universities.
While the government was planning to introduce the test, Jadavpur University authorities opposed the decision and sought to retain its own admission system. Under the university’s own system, undergraduate students are given direct admission to postgraduate programmes.