The state government on Wednesday removed former WBSSC chairman Subiresh Bhattacharya as vice-chancellor of North Bengal University and Darjeeling Hill University, over a week after the CBI arrested him in connection with the SSC recruitment scam.
The government appointed Jadavpur University professor Omprakash Mishra as interim vice-chancellor of both the universities for three months, until it appoints a regular vice-chancellor through a search committee.
On September 19, the CBI arrested Bhattacharya in connection with the SSC recruitment scam. Bhattacharya, who remained SSC chairman from 2014 to 2018, was questioned by the agency at its Nizam Palace office in Kolkata for nearly six hours before being arrested.
Since then, political parties have been demanding removal of Bhattacharya from his post.
Omprakash Mishra, a former head of department of International Relations at Jadavpur University, was earlier a leader Congress leader in the state. However, he joined the ruling Trinamool Congress in 2020.
Mishra said, “I am delighted to have been appointed as the vice-chancellor of North Bengal University. It is a special feeling as the place is my alma mater… I completed my graduation from there.”
The 61-year-old has been engaged in teaching, research and research supervision at Jadavpur University in Kolkata since 1987. He joined the University as a lecturer in 1987 and became a Reader in 1993 and has been a professor since 2001. He was the Head of the Department of International Relations in the University (1994-1996) and the Founder – Coordinator of the Centre for Refugee Studies. He took over as the Head of the Department once again in September 2018. He secured 1st Class 1st position (Gold Medalist) in B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science from North Bengal University in 1982 and secured CGPA equivalent to 1st Class in M.A. and M.Phil in International Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 1984 and 1986 respectively. He holds a Ph.D degree of Jadavpur University.
Mishra’s interest and expertise covers many areas in political economy, international relations, foreign policy and national security. In August 2004, then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh invited him to serve the National Security Advisory Board. In November 2005, the University Grants Commission invited him to Chair an Expert Committee on Universities and Public Policy. He was Pro Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, the largest University of the world in 2007-2010. He has also been the Dean, Faculty Council of Arts of Jadavpur University.