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Jadavpur University dean of engineering quits over pressure

Last week, Amitava Datta and other officials were detained till midnight by students over errors in results
“Due to some personal reasons and health issues, it is becoming difficult for me to continue working in this position effectively. I am therefore tendering my resignation…” Datta wrote to the VC.

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Calcutta   |   Published 30.12.20, 01:33 AM

A Jadavpur University teacher has resigned as dean of engineering, the post that he took over on December 7, following what sources close to him said was pressure from students and at least four instances of being gheraoed. 

Amitava Datta, the third teacher to quit as a JU dean in as many months, sent his resignation to vice-chancellor Suranjan Das on Tuesday morning. “I have requested the dean to reconsider the resignation,” Das told Metro.

Contacted, Datta declined comment.

Late on Monday, students’ union representatives had repeatedly called him demanding a copy of the resolution the executive council adopted on Sunday.

“Due to some personal reasons and health issues, it is becoming difficult for me to continue working in this position effectively. I am therefore tendering my resignation…” Datta wrote to the VC.

According to the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association, Datta and the two pro-vice-chancellors had been confined for several hours on December 9, the day the students’ union in the engineering faculty launched an agitation to protest alleged errors in results and delay in their publication. 

On December 11, during a meeting of the Jadavpur University Management System (JUMS) Restructuring Committee, some students prevented other members from leaving the venue even after the discussions had ended. Datta and others were detained till 1.30am.

Last week, Datta and other officials were detained till midnight by students over errors in results.

VC Das had told teachers on Wednesday night after a round of confinement of teachers by students: “In such circumstances, myself and my two pro-VCs feel that we should not continue to remain in the office.”

The issue regarding results was resolved on Saturday with the university accepting moral responsibility for the delayed publication. The executive council on Sunday adopted a resolution related to restructuring the management system. 

Students called Datta repeatedly on Monday night demanding a copy of the resolution. “He tried to explain to them that a copy of the resolution had to be collected from the registrar’s office. But they insisted he hand it over to them and used derogatory words. This was the final trigger for the resignation,’’ an official said.

Aritra Majumder, the chairperson of the student’s union of the engineering faculty, said: “The problem regarding our results existed even before the dean joined.... The scale of mess is so huge that even if he tried to solve it positively, the task was not that easy. May be Dean came under pressure, leading to his decision to resign. We don’t think he could accuse us...’’

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