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Teachers' plea on Visva VC

Santiniketan: A body of teachers at Visva-Bharati on Sunday submitted a memorandum to the officiating registrar of the varsity demanding that the senior most director at the institution be given the charge of the acting vice-chancellor.

The Visva Bharati University Faculty Association argued that Sawapan Kumar Datta, whose term as the acting VC had expired on Saturday, could not continue as he had crossed the age of 65.

Datta was the pro-VC when he took charge as the acting VC whose retirement age is 65.

Officiating VC Swapan Kumar Datta reached his age of retirement on Saturday but refused to hand over charge.

"According to the statute of Visva-Bharati, in the absence of a pro-VC, the senior most director would work as the acting the VC. But Swapan Kumar Datta did not hand over the charge as per the statute," Sudipta Bhattacharya, the president of the association, told The Telegraph

The association said it would write to the ministry of human resource development, seeking its intervention to resolve the impasse at Visva-Bharati.

Datta has cited a provision in the institute's constitution that allows an acting VC to continue in office "notwithstanding the expiry of the term of office until a new VC is appointed".

Datta had been given the responsibility in February 2016 after the regular VC, Sushanta Dattagupta was sacked for administrative irregularities. A new VC has yet to be picked although nearly two years have passed since.

A VBUFA member had, however, argued that Datta was misreading the statute. "As pro-VC, he has retired on Saturday. When he is not pro-VC, he cannot continue as the in-charge VC," the member had said on Saturday.

According to statute of the varsity, "The saha upacharya (pro-vice chancellor) shall retire on attaining the age of sixty five years."

The Adhyapak Sabha, another teachers' organisation of Visva-Bharati, on Sunday wrote to the President, who is also visitor of Visva-Bharati, as well the Union human resource development minister seeking appointment of a permanent VC as soon as possible.

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