Jadavpur University has written to the education minister that it would be “an act of great injustice to the students” if they are not given degree certificates through the annual convocation.
JU registrar Snehamanju Basu has written that a large number of students who reside overseas and in other parts of the country have already bought tickets to attend the ceremony.
The letter that was sent on Friday evening says: “Please note that the degrees cannot be conferred without the approval of the EC (executive council) followed by a court meeting.
“Please make it possible for the university to hold the convocation as scheduled.”
JU’s officiating vice-chancellor, registrar and other officials met education minister Bratya Basu on Friday,
seeking permission that they be allowed to hold the convocation.
The minister asked them to write a letter, containing the significance of the event and preparation, which has been initiated.
The letter says: “Sir, you are aware that at Jadavpur University, the convocation is the most important thing in the life of a student. It is the seal and recognition of their academic excellence and an occasion, which every student is entitled to.”
Officiating VC Buddhadeb Sau said the graduating students would encounter difficulties in the absence of degree certificates, which are usually awarded during the convocation.
“But we need permission so that the meeting of the executive council and court could be held to approve the formalities for awarding degree certificates,” Sau told Metro.
At Jadavpur, the stalemate over the possibility of holding the convocation surfaced in early November when the department restrained the university from holding the meeting of the executive council on the ground that the university did not have a full-term vice-chancellor.
An official in the education department had last month told Metro that they did not recognize Sau, who was handpicked by governor C.V. Ananda Bose in August as officiating VC, allegedly without consulting the state government, as regular VC.
The governor is the ex-officio chancellor of the state-aided universities.
As repeated communications to the department by JU seeking permission that they be allowed to hold a meeting of the executive council failed to yield any approval, the officiating VC and other senior functionaries met the minister.
“The entire academic community will owe you a collective debt of gratitude if you can use your good office to resolve the current impasse,” says the letter.
The chancellor presides over the court meeting.
Referring to the preparation the university has taken for the convocation, the letter says: “This year too, we have begun preparations for... the convocation. The advertisement of the convocation was published in the newspapers on November 12, 2023, and the online portal of the convocation has been open from the very next day”.
“We heard whatever they had to say. We will take legal opinion on this,” minister Basu said on Friday.
An official of the department said they would take legal opinion based on the letter.
The letter says the university wants to hold the executive council with two main agenda — the 66th annual convocation, including special convocation (awarding Honoris Causa), and budget estimate for the financial year 2024-25 and the revised budget for 2023-24.