Governor M K Narayanan has turned down Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to extend the tenure of Presidency University’s Vice-Chancellor.
Mamata had sought an eight-month extension for Malabika Sarkar; instead, the Governor sanctioned a three-month extension to the V-C whose term was supposed to end on February 15.
The Governor’s move would be more embarrassing for the Chief Minister as it was only last week that she, during her speech at the foundation laying ceremony of the university’s second campus at Rajarhat, declared that Sarkar’s tenure would be extended till October 12. Sarkar was present at the time and a round of applause from the audience had followed the announcement. The V-C was even seen thanking the chief minister profusely.
The reason behind the Governor’s decision was not known but sources said he was miffed at the way Mamata made a public announcement about extension of tenure to the V-C.
Sarkar, who joined the institution on October 2011, has already been given two extensions.
Education Minister Bratya Basu, in a text message to The Indian Express, said: “In order to bring about excellence to the university and since the Search Committee looking for a new V-C has not yet proposed any new name, the department of higher education, after consultation with the chief minister, recommended to the governor, who is the chancellor of the university, extension of tenure for the VC till October, 2014. The Chancellor has agreed to just a three-month extension.’’
Sugata Bose, chairman of the Mentor Group for Presidency University, however, said they still support the original proposal of the government. “Malabika Sarkar is doing an excellent job and we support the government’s original proposal wholeheartedly. We will see what can be done after the expiry of three months,’’ Bose told The Indian Express.
The state government has donated 10 acres of land and Rs 10 crore to the university for building its second campus at Rajarhat.