Updated: June 13, 2022 7:59:34 pm
The West Bengal Assembly on Monday passed a bill to make Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee the Chancellor of all state universities, a position traditionally held by the state Governor.
The West Bengal University Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was passed by 182 votes in favor against 40 not in favor in the 294-member Assembly.
State education minister Bratya Basu introduced the bill and said that there was “nothing wrong” in chief minister taking over as the chancellor. “Why can’t the chief minister be the chancellor of state universities if the Prime Minister is the chancellor of a central university- Visva Bharati? You can go through the recommendations of the Punchhi Commission…
Basu also said state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is the present chancellor, has violated protocols on “various occasions.”
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The BJP opposed the bill and alleged that that appointing the chief minister as chancellor would lead to direct “political interference” in the state’s higher education system. “The state government wants to control everything. The decision to appoint the CM as chancellor of universities is being taken to facilitate direct interference of the ruling party in the state’s education system,” BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul said.
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