Jadavpur University’s officiating vice-chancellor has stepped down after the governor, who is also chancellor of the university, reportedly asked him to resign following a complaint by some teachers.
Governor C.V. Ananda Bose had on June 1 entrusted Amitabha Datta, also pro-VC of JU, with the responsibility of performing the duty of VC. State government sources had said Datta was among the 11 officiating VCs appointed by the governor, which is ex-officio chancellor of all state-aided universities, without consulting the government.
A JU official said some teachers had called on the chancellor on Thursday afternoon and complained that Datta was running the campus through an ad-hoc mechanism and not calling meetings of the university’s highest decision-making body.
“The chancellor summoned Datta on Thursday evening and told him to resign as VC,” the official said.
“I will continue as pro-VC,” Datta told The Telegraph.
Asked whether he had been told by the governor to step down as officiating VC, Datta said: “Please check that with the chancellor’s office. I will not comment.”
Calls, text messages and emails from this newspaper to the chancellor failed to elicit any response.
In the past month, two other officiating VCs — Indranil Mukherjee of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology and Sanchari Mukherjee of North Bengal University — had been asked by the chancellor to step down.
Both, like Dutta, had been handpicked by Bose.
Buddhadeb Sau, president of a pro-BJP teachers’ organisation at JU, who was part of the delegation that called on the chancellor, said: “We merely informed the chancellor that Datta was taking important decisions without getting them endorsed by the university’s highest decision-making body.... It was not clear why he was not calling meeting of that body. The decisions were being routed through the working committee in an ad-hoc manner.”
Education minister Bratya Basu said after learning about Datta’s resignation: “We have passed a bill in the Assembly on appointing full-term
VCs through search committees so we can bring an end to this misrule.”
JU Teachers’ Association secretary Parthapratim Roy said in a statement: “It’s a matter of grave concern that the chancellor is asking a VC to tender resignation unnecessarily because of some hidden personal agenda.”