Calcutta University has written to the higher education department for permission to convene a meeting of the syndicate on December 12 to approve examination-related regulations under the four-year undergraduate programme, said an official of the university.
About 1 lakh students will write their first-semester exams under the four-year programme, which are expected to be held in January if the regulations are approved by the syndicate, the highest decision-making body of the university, registrar Debasis Das said.
Once approved by the syndicate, the regulations need to be sent to 140-odd colleges affiliated to CU.
“We have sought permission from the higher education department to hold a meeting of the syndicate on December 12. If the regulations are not approved, we will face problems (in scheduling the exams for January),” Das said.
The department has twice barred CU from holding a meeting of its syndicate because the university does not have a “regular (full-term) vice-chancellor”. CU is being helmed by an officiating VC.
In the latest communication, addressed to the registrar on November 24, the department had said holding any meeting of its syndicate in the absence of a regular VC would be in contravention of rules.
The department has barred Jadavpur University from holding a meeting of its executive council, JU’s highest decision-making body, on an identical ground, casting a cloud of uncertainty on the annual convocation, which is usually held on December 24.
“While JU is facing an impasse over the convocation, we are in the dark about how to conduct the semester exams if we are not allowed to call a meeting of the syndicate,” said a CU official.
“We had written to the higher education department earlier, too, seeking permission. But as the semester exams are barely a month away and there was no approval from the department, we have written again,” the registrar said.
When asked about CU’s appeal, education minister Bratya Basu said: “I won’t be able to comment on this now. I have to look into the issue and then I will comment”.
Tilak Chatterjee, principal of Bankim Sardar College in Canning, South 24-Parganas, and a member of the syndicate said the examination regulations committee of the university had framed the rules in September.
“But the rules can’t come into effect unless they are approved by the syndicate. If this formality is not completed, it would be difficult to conduct the exams,” Chatterjee said.
The university since June has been helmed by Santa Datta, who was handpicked by governor C.V. Ananda Bose to discharge the duties of VC, allegedly without consulting the department.
“Since taking over as officiating VC, Datta has conducted several syndicate meetings. The higher education department did not object,” said a CU official.
“The department started objecting once the Supreme Court said in an order on October 6 that the officiating VCs appointed by the chancellor would receive pay and perks not of a VC, but those commensurate with their previous posts,” said a CU official.
“We hope the education department will take note of the interest of the students and allow the syndicate meeting to be held.”