regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Bengal Governor appoints officiating VC of another varsity amid row

The governor on Tuesday night announced the name of Professor Kajal De as the officiating VC of the newly established Kanyashree University

PTI Calcutta Published 06.09.23, 08:09 PM
CV Ananda Bose.

CV Ananda Bose. File picture

West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose has appointed the interim VC of another state-run university amid a row over his move to appoint such officials in varsities that have remained headless for months.

Bose had earlier appointed the officiating VCs of seven universities, including Presidency University, MAKAUT and Burdwan University.


The governor on Tuesday night announced the name of Professor Kajal De as the officiating VC of the newly established Kanyashree University.

His announcement came just hours after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's blistering attack against him during a Teachers' Day programme, where she accused him of interfering in the state's education system, and threatened to sit on a dharna outside Raj Bhavan if the governor continued to function in this manner.

"Hon'ble Chancellor today appointed Prof Kajal De Vice Chancellor (officiating) of Kanyashree University, West Bengal," the Raj Bhavan said in a statement.

De was discharging her duties as the interim VC of Diamond Harbour Women's University since March after being appointed by Bose. She was a professor of mathematics at Netaji Subhas Open University.

Sources said that interim vice-chancellors of eight other universities have also been finalised and appointment letters "will be issued soon".

TMC Rajya Sabha MP and party spokesperson Santanu Sen alleged that Bose was "running a parallel administration by bypassing an elected government to please BJP leaders in Delhi".

"He is following the footsteps of his predecessor (Jagdeep Dhankhar). By doing these things, he feels he will be rewarded the same way as Dhankhar. Bose is running a parallel administration and challenging the state, which is highly condemnable," Sen said.

Dhankhar was elected as the Vice President of the country after his contentious tenure as the governor of West Bengal, during which he had frequent run-ins with the Mamata Banerjee government over several issues.

Stating that Bose is transgressing all norms while appointing interim VCs, Sen said, "People with less than 10 years of experience as university professors, and those not from academic backgrounds are being appointed as interim VCs by ignoring rules and bypassing eligible people. Such acts are deplorable and go beyond his jurisdiction." Attacking Bose over the appointments, Banerjee had on Tuesday alleged that the governor was appointing interim VCs according to his whims by ignoring the state-appointed search committee.

Noting that VCs must be picked from the names suggested by the five-member search committee, she alleged that Bose was appointing people at his will with no regard to the suggestions of the panel.

She had promised a 'tit-for-tat' action, and threatened to block funding to all universities that followed the governor's directions.

"I will see how you give salaries to these vice-chancellors," she had said.

"We will not allow this to continue. If the governor thinks he is bigger than the chief minister, we will fight him back. He should not forget that he is nominated to that post," she said.

"If federalism is interfered with by taking away rights (of the state governments), I will be forced to sit on a dharna outside Raj Bhavan. We will not allow injustice, Bengal knows how to fight back. Wait and watch," Banerjee added.

BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the TMC has politicised campuses and put its own people at the helm everywhere.

"The hon'ble governor is working in the interest of students to end the chaos which has plagued various state universities. Instead of supporting him for the overall improvement of the situation, the TMC is targeting him," he added.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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