A pro-Trinamool Congress platform of senior professors in West Bengal, including former vice-chancellors of state universities, on Friday asked Governor CV Ananda Bose to elaborate how professors with less than 10 years of experience could be appointed as interim VCs by the Raj Bhavan and accused him of trying to throttle higher education through his acts.
In an open letter to Bose, the Educationists' Forum said there is no provision in the law which allows the governor, who is the chancellor of state varsities, to delegate power to persons of choice in this respect.
"As governor of the state of West Bengal, you signed the ordinance to constitute the search-cum-selection committees for appointment of regular and full-term VCs and still you refuse to sign the Bill passed by the legislative assembly on the subject for the past three months. You possibly do not want to operationalise and act upon the legislation. We expect that you do know about the provisions of our constitution. Article 200 stipulates that the governor cannot sit indefinitely over the Bills passed by the assembly and he must act as soon as possible," the letter signed by former VC Om Prakash Mishra and several others said.
"Is it not a fact that most of the persons 'appointed' by you do not fulfill the criterion of being a professor with more than 10 years experience in the university system - as stipulated under the UGC regulations? Why are you violating the UGC regulations," the open letter submitted to the governor's office said.
"You are killing the university system, its management and leadership," the forum said.
The letter said the "Founding Acts establishing and constituting 31 public universities in West Bengal has designated the governor of West Bengal as the chancellor of all the universities. As such, you would surely appreciate, you derive your power and authority as the chancellor from the acts and statutes adopted by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and yet, regrettably, you are abusing the founding Acts of the universities." Around 400 people, including former state university VCs Debnarayan Bandyopadhyay, Dipak Kar and Mishra as well as senior professor Abheek Majumdar, poet Subodh Sarkar and college and university teachers participated in a protest near the Raj Bhavan's North Gate before submitting the letter to the governor's secretariat.
At the peaceful demonstration, "we also protested against the inaction of the governor over the Bills passed by the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on subjects relating to higher education, which is unconstitutional," Mishra said.
The participants carried placards against the "complete chaos unleashed by the governor", who is the ex officio chancellor of the state universities.
Police personnel present at the spot ensured the demonstrators leave the place peacefully after reaching a particular point.
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