|(Top) Mukul Roy; Shanku Deb Panda. File pictures
Aug. 2: Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy is learnt to have expressed concern today over complaints about facilitating college admissions in exchange for money.
The comments attributed to Roy were made at a meeting of the Trinamul students’ wing where outfit chief Shanku Deb Panda was present. Two days ago, the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad had suspended a leader accused of taking money in exchange for ensuring admissions beyond the stipulated capacity in a Nadia BEd college. Panda had initially thrown his weight behind Tanmay Acharya, the general secretary of the Kalyani University students’ union headed by the TMCP.
“There are around 500 colleges in the state. Allegations of accepting money to facilitate admissions are being made in a handful of colleges. Why should there be even a single complaint?” Roy was quoted as saying at the meeting at Trinamul Bhavan in Kasba, where education minister Partha Chatterjee was also present. The meeting had been called to discuss preparations for the TMCP’s foundation day programme on August 28.
Addressing the TMCP leaders at the meeting, a source quoted Roy as saying: “You must remember we are not in power because of the TMCP. The TMCP was not a force to reckon with when we fought the Left in 2009 and 2011. Trinamul fought the battles on its own to dislodge the Left. Don’t undermine the struggle by indulging in such acts.”
Sources said Roy’s comments could be directed at Panda, accused of causing disruptions at several colleges and universities in the past few months. Several TMCP leaders were present at the meeting.
Both Roy and Panda, who addresses chief minister Mamata Banerjee as “pishi (aunt)”, refused comment on what transpired at the meeting.
“A section in Trinamul is of the opinion that Panda has embarrassed the party on several occasions in recent months,” a Trinamul source said.
Panda had squatted outside the venue of Calcutta University’s syndicate meeting in College Street on July 9 to prevent a CPM-led teachers’ organisation’s plan to submit a charter of demands. The meeting had to be called off.
Education minister Chatterjee had said days after Panda’s agitation: “Those who are not students of the campus should stay outside the campus. Student leaders who have passed out of the campus long back can always come there after seeking the vice-chancellor’s permission, but they should not stage any protest there.”
State higher education secretary Vivek Kumar today called Rattan Lal Hangloo, the vice-chancellor of Kalyani University, to Bikash Bhavan to discuss the report of the government-ordered probe into the cash-for-seats controversy at Nadia’s Bhaktabala BEd College, which is affiliated to the varsity.
A senior education department official said the probe by Jadavpur University interim vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarty had found Kalyani University controller of examinations Bimalendu Biswas’s involvement in the scam.
After returning to Kalyani, Hangloo called an emergency meeting of the university’s executive council on Monday to initiate action based on the report’s findings, varsity sources said.
“The authorities will not hesitate to take appropriate steps to punish those found guilty,” Hangloo said.
Gourbanga University in Malda has started a probe against the principal of a BEd college affiliated to it for allegedly working as the head of another BEd college and a school in North 24-Parganas.
During an inspection on Thursday, the Gourbanga University registrar found out that S.M. Bakibilla, 52, was working as the principal of Adarsha College of Education in Barasat and the headmaster of Kazipara Hazrat Ekdilsha High School in the same area besides being the principal of the varsity-affiliated David Hare Teachers’ Training College in Malda’s Gajole.
Officials of both the private BEd colleges said Bakibilla had not informed them during his recruitment that he was already working as a school headmaster. He had been working as the principal of the Gajole college since July 2011 and the head of the Barasat institute, affiliated to West Bengal State University, since July 2013. Yesterday, Bakibilla resigned as the principal of the Gajole institute.
Bakibilla today said his “only full-fledged job” was that of the headmaster of Kazipara Hazrat Ekdilsha High School, where he has been working for 20 years. “As far as the two private BEd colleges are concerned, I received honorariums only, not salary,” he said.
The officials of the two BEd colleges, however, said Bakibilla, an MA in Arabic with a BEd degree, was a “full-time principal”.
An education department official said a full-fledged schoolteacher can neither do any other job nor accept honorariums.