January 22, 2022 11:55:55 am
MEMBERS OF the teachers’ body and Students Federation of India (SFI) workers on Friday voiced their protests after the Visva-Bharati University (VBU) invited President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and BJP Rajya Sabha MP Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, to deliver a lecture on “India: A Soft Power” in the virtual mode.
While the SFI alleged that VBU Vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty has been inviting “only BJP members” in a bid to “propagate a particular ideology,” the teachers’ association said that by inviting Dr Sahasrabuddhe, who is also the chairman of the Parliament Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports, the VC is trying to “influence the committee”, which has flagged “several irregularities against the varsity.”
“Dr Sahasrabudhe is the chairman of the Standing Committee on Education. Three members of that same committee, who are also Rajya Sabha members, Asit Mal, T N Prathapan and Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, have already pointed out several irregularities in the university. As there are a number of complaints pending before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, the Vice-chancellor is trying to influence the committee by inviting its chairman. We have no issues if anyone attends a university event but the V-C should stay away from presiding over such programmes,” said a university teacher.
A university official said Sahasrabuddhe was an “internationally acclaimed academician” and the varsity invited him to deliver the speech as part of its lecture series.
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On January 9, 2020, the university had invited BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta for a lecture on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a move that triggered protests from the SFI on the campus.
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