The Visva-Bharati authorities on Wednesday decided to exclude the 2022 graduates from Friday’s convocation, leading to harassment of hundreds of students and their parents, who had already reached or were on their way to Santiniketan for the ceremony.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who will be the chief guest of the convocation this year, reached the varsity town on Thursday afternoon.
The convocation, to be held physically after a gap of four years, will start at 9am at Amrakunja on the campus.
Acting registrar Ashok Mahato on Wednesday evening issued a notification that said “due to unavoidable circumstances”, the convocation on Friday “will cover the year 2021 only and the convocation for the year 2022 will be notified later on”.
On February 20, the varsity officially announced its decision to hold the convocation for the 2021 and 2022 graduates.
Following the announcement, hundreds of students living in different parts of Bengal and across India booked tickets to reach the varsity town.
“The last-minute cancellation of convocation for the 2022 batch is really unfortunate,” said a faculty member.
A 2022 batch student, along with her three friends from Cooch Behar, reached Santiniketan on Thursday.
“We have spent Rs 10,000 each for this trip.... It has gone to waste,” said the student, who had completed her MA in education in 2022.
Although the university did not explain the “unavoidable reason”, a section of students and teachers said vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty had taken the decision as the 2022 batch included at least a dozen students who had led protests against him.
“They excluded the year because there are few like me who can inform the defence minister about the wrongdoings of the VC,” said Somnath Sow, an SFI leader at Visva-Bharati.