Jadavpur University Teachers' Association (Juta) on Saturday voiced concern over the stand-off between Raj Bhavan and West Bengal government over the appointment of interim vice-chancellors in 11 state universities and urged both sides to resolve the deadlock.
Hours after the governor's office had issued a list appointing interim VCs in 11 state universities on Thursday, West Bengal education minister Bratya Basu said the Raj Bhavan's decision is "unilateral" and "violates the law".
Calcutta, Jadavpur and Burdwan universities are among the 11 varsities where interim VCs have been appointed by the governor.
A Jadavpur University (JU) official claimed that pro VC Amitabha Dutta took charge as the interim VC on Friday after his name was recommended by Governor Ananda Bose.
"He was the pro VC and entrusted with certain new responsibilities. With the varsity having no permanent VC after the end of tenure of Suranjan Das, it is quite natural that Dutta will have to discharge his duty. Whether that is strictly as pro VC, as anointed by the state government, or as interim VC, as decreed by the chancellor, remains to be seen," a source said.
In a statement, JUTA said, "The reason for the impasse in different state universities stems from the unlawful move by the state to appoint interim VCs, which have been quashed by the court." "By omitting varsity representatives from the search committee and retaining officials from the state administration, the higher education department has dealt a blow to the functional autonomy of universities," JUTA general secretary Partha Pratim Roy told PTI.
Roy said, "We are in favour of recruitments that are legal. No unilateral decision by the state and chancellor is acceptable." Referring to the situation in Calcutta University, WBCUTA president Subhoday Dasgupta said with no full-time VC, the institute is facing difficulties in academic and administrative matters.
Clearing the "deadlock" in the appointment of interim vice-chancellors to 27 universities, Governor Bose, in his capacity as chancellor of universities, has started appointing interim VCs where the vacancies exist, a Raj Bhavan statement said.
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