The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teachers’ heat on JU for Sarkar stint
- Statement demanded to clear varsity image

Calcutta, July 13: A section of the Jadavpur University court, the institution’s highest policy-making body, is up in arms against the authorities for having recruited Pabitra Sarkar as reader though he had not produced proof of his doctorate degree.

Some teachers joined members of the court in demanding a statement from the varsity brass on the status of Sarkar’s PhD. They said the statement was necessary to ensure that people did not get a “wrong message” about the university’s activities.

Bowing to pressure from the members, the authorities examined its records and found that the varsity had no document to establish that Sarkar holds a PhD degree from the University of Chicago.

The information was disclosed today to a delegation of court members that met the university registrar and vice-chancellor Ashoke Nath Basu.

The team of teachers had also met the officials on Thursday. They had then requested the authorities to examine records and let them know about the findings by today.

“The registrar, Rajat Bandyopadhyay, refused to give us any information in writing concerning our queries on Sarkar’s PhD degree. The registrar, however, confirmed verbally after checking the records that Sarkar had not submitted any document to support his claim that he held a PhD degree from the university of Chicago,” said Tarun Naskar, a court member.

The court members came down on the university authorities for using the prefix “Dr” before Sarkar’s name in a booklet published in 1998. The booklet contained a list of all university faculty members. “Dr Pabitra Sarkar” featured on top of the list of teachers in the Bengali department.

The members today sought an explanation on what basis the university had used the prefix “Dr” when Sarkar, who taught at the university till 2000, had not produced any document to establish that he was a PhD holder.

“The registrar said that the booklet was published on the basis of the information supplied by the teachers of respective departments,” said Chittranjan Mondal, a court member.

The registrar said: “Some court members met me today as they had some queries. I have answered their queries. I will not speak to the media on the Pabitra Sarkar issue until I get an instruction from the government.”

Save Education Committee, an association of anti-CPM bodies of intellectuals and academics, threatened to launch an agitation from tomorrow against the alleged suppression of facts by Pabitra Sarkar and the fraud by Mukti Deb. The axed applied math lecturer of Visva-Bharati University had allegedly produced fake certificates to bag the job.

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