It is Zachariah vs Presidency V-C | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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It is Zachariah vs Presidency V-C

A day after professor of history in Presidency University Benjamin Zachariah resigned, the tussle between him and vicechancellor Malabika Sarkar was out in the open.

kolkata Updated: Jun 07, 2013 12:56 IST
HT Correspondent

A day after professor of history in Presidency University Benjamin Zachariah resigned, the tussle between him and vicechancellor Malabika Sarkar was out in the open.

While Zachariah has accused the vice-chancellor and the controller of exams of the university of malpractice, which he claims forced him to resign, Sarkar said that the professor was asked to leave because of his conduct.

“Irregularities in the vicechancellor’s office and the office of the controller (of exams) prompted me to resign. I wanted to get out of all this. I also realised that Presidency and I have no future together,” said Zachariah on Thursday.

Sarkar’s version of what had happened was, however, different. “I gave my letter to Zachariah at 3pm which he refused to accept. Then I got it emailed to him. After this, he sent us his resignation letter.”

The letter from Sarkar to Zachariah said, “The university has found your performance as a senior faculty member unsatisfactory…. In the circumstances, the university has decided that your probationary employment cannot be confirmed…We have no other option and are compelled to terminate your probationary employment henceforth…”

But Zachariah claimed that the university was tampering with the semester question papers. “I got to know that the university had opened the seal of the question papers. They also did not introduce my proposal to allow students to take home the questions and answer them,” he said. The university, however, denied the allegation.

“The question papers are still sealed and no one has tampered with them. The students were told that they could take a section of the question paper home and answer it. But such decisions cannot be taken unilaterally. The proposal has to come to the university and needs to be discussed among the faculty. Finally, if the university council wants, the exam system can be changed. But there is a process for this,” Sarkar said.

He also went on record claiming he had never used abusive language against Professor Emeritus Rajat Ray. “If they say I did it without me being present, then I did it. Otherwise, it is not possible,” he said. Sarkar, however, refuted this.

“Ben confessed that he has used abusive language against Ray in the presence of the chairman of Presidency mentor group Sugata Bose and the registrar of the university. He not only accepted the act but also said he would not tender an apology for the same,” said Sarkar. The Zachariah episode has now forced the university to ensure that they interview all the professors before appointing them.