Bowing to the pressure of the teachers and students of Visva-Bharati who have been clamouring for the removal of Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Duttagupta accusing him of indulging in various malpractices including financial irregularities, the Ministry of Human Resource Development set up a three-member fact-finding committee on Tuesday to look into the allegations and submit a report by March 31.
The committee will comprise of former judge of Allahabad High Court Sakharam Singh Yadav, chairman of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture (Shillong) B B Dutta and professor of South Asian Archaeology of Cambridge University Dilip Chakrabarti.
“The Ministry has been receiving complaints against the authorities of the university including Professor Sushanta Duttagupta, the present V-C, alleging financial and administrative irregularities in day-to-day functioning of the university… The allegations levelled have been examined by the Ministry… and after due consideration has decided to constitute a three-member committee for conducting a fact-finding inquiry into all the allegations levelled in the complaints and to submit a report to the central government before March 31, 2015,’’ an MHRD note, signed by Surat Singh, deputy secretary, said.
The note also mentioned that the committee would rationally consider the response of the persons facing allegations, including the V-C, in accordance with the principles of natural justice. It also urged the V-C to appoint an officer who would provide all documents or other help in connection with the inquiry.
The teachers, while welcoming the move, demanded that the Ministry should ask the V-C to go on leave while the inquiry was on. “There is ample scope to influence the probe process if the V-C was in office. He should go on leave,’’ Biplab Loho Chaudhury, a professor and convenor of the joint action committee of the agitating students and teachers said. Echoed Subhodeep Ghosh, a student and member of the Joint Action Committee: “It is good that finally the fact-finding committee has been set up. But we want the V-C should go on leave during the time probe is conducted.”
The university has already restored the quota system for admission in undergraduate and post-graduate courses that it withdrew in November last year triggering widespread protests from students and teachers.