The Executive Council (Karma Samity) of Visva-Bharati University on Saturday decided to approach President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime minister Narendra Modi, as well as the Chancellor of the varsity, seeking appointment of a permanent vice-chancellor. After Vice-Chancellor Sushanta Dattagupta was dismissed from the central university in February 2016, Professor Swapan Kumar Dutta had become the acting V-C. Professor Sabujkali Sen had assumed charge on February 3 after his retirement.
This comes days after The Sunday Express reported that in an unprecedented move, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry had asked the President to reconsider his assent to the appointment Swapan Kumar Dutta as the V-C of Visva-Bharati. “We will seek appointments and shortly leave for Delhi to meet the President, Prime Minister and HRD minister. We will also meet HRD officials. It has been two years that Visva-Bharati has no permanent V-C. We are going to appeal to the PM and the President to immediately appoint one. The decision was taken unanimously at the meeting,” said Sushovan Banerjee, senior executive council member who chaired the meeting on Friday. He is also the President’s nominee in the council.
“If we don’t get appointments within two weeks, we will go to Delhi anyway. Before we leave or get the appointments, we will write to the HRD minister. The university is suffering as no permanent V-C has been appointed,” he added. On whether she would agree to become the full-time V-C, Professor Sabujkali Sen told PTI: “I am ready to do whatever I am asked to do.”
The council members would also propose to the HRD Ministry that after acting V-C Sabujkali Sen retires on February 24, the seniormost principal of the university should replace her. “We will propose that according to statutes and acts, the seniormost principal should replace the current acting V-C. At present, Asha Banerjee is the seniormost principal,” said Banerjee.
Further, the council members will urge the President and HRD officials to hold convocation ceremonies at the university. “The students want convocations to be held. It will be part of our appeal,” said Banerjee. Teachers and students rued that lack of a permanent V-C was hampering day-to-day work at the university. “The post is vacant for two years… over 160 teaching posts are also vacant. This is because of central government’s apathy towards the university,” said Kishore Bhattacharya, president of the university’s Adhyapak Sabha.
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