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‘Academics, not chowkidars’: Visva-Bharati University to review move to keep tabs on visitors

After some pipes were stolen from the VBU chemistry department recently, Principal of Siksha Bhavan Taraprasad Chattopadhyay convened a meeting of all HoDs and appealed to them to control access, sources said.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
July 4, 2021 2:29:03 am
Visva Bharati university, VC Visva Bharati, Kolkata university, Kolkata, universities in Kolkata, Education news, Indian express newsVBU Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty visited the department on Wednesday and then instructed closure of the Siksha Bhavan gate. (File Photo)

After an order by the Visva-Bharati University (VBU) authorities to restrict entry into the several Bhavans or schools at the university, maintain a register for visitors and entrust the responsibility of access with the respective heads of departments (HoDs), some department heads have offered to quit their posts in protest.

They submitted their resignation on Saturday, pointing out that they are “academics, not chowkidars”. However, sources said the university authorities have requested them to withdraw their resignations and assured that the proposed move to keep tabs on visitors would be “reviewed”.

After some pipes were stolen from the VBU chemistry department recently, Principal of Siksha Bhavan Taraprasad Chattopadhyay convened a meeting of all HoDs and appealed to them to control access, sources said. The HoDs of the science departments were also asked to apprise the registrar of details of visitors regularly. This prompted the HoDs to offer their resignations, the sources added.

A police complaint is generally lodged when there is a theft or damage but it was not done in this (pipe theft) case, the sources said.

VBU Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty visited the department on Wednesday and then instructed closure of the Siksha Bhavan gate. On Thursday, Chakrabarty reportedly instructed Dean of Science Taraprasad Chattopadhyay to tell all HoDs to maintain a report of everyone entering their respective department and send it to the registrar from time to time.

After VC’s instructions, on Friday, the gates of Siksha Bhavan were shut and notice floated that, only two person will be allowed at a time after prior permission from the registrar. A third person will have to wait for one of the two to leave before being allowed in.

A senior faculty member said, “When Dean of Science elaborated the surveillance plan of the authorities, the HoDs said, it will not possible for them to comply with the instruction and submitted letters of resignation.” He further said, “The heads felt insulted and collectively stated that they cannot become ‘chowkidar’. The security personnel employed by the university should look into it. The principal of Siksha Bhavan also submitted his resignation.

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