West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.(ANI file)
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.(ANI file)

Fearless access to chancellor by varsities compromised, says West Bengal Governor

The governor, who is also the chancellor of state-run universities, termed the legislation, endorsed by the Assembly on December 10, as “unconstitutional”, asking everyone to take note of the situation.
By Press Trust of India | Kolkata
UPDATED ON DEC 22, 2019 05:53 PM IST

A day after expressing dismay over Jadavpur University’s decision to cancel its convocation, which he was scheduled to address as the chancellor, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday said a new law passed by the Assembly has restricted his communication with varsities.

Taking to Twitter, Dhankhar also stated that the law prevented “free, fearless access to chancellor”.

The governor, who is also the chancellor of state-run universities, termed the legislation, endorsed by the Assembly on December 10, as “unconstitutional”, asking everyone to take note of the situation.

“Under new mechanism all communications of VCs to Chancellor have to be routed through Secretary of Department.

Difficult to figure our (out) its rationale. Free fearless access to Chancellor compromised.

“This is ex facie (on the face of it) unconstitutional. Time for all to take a call of convenience!” he wrote on official Twitter handle.

According to the new law, every communication, proposed to be made by the chancellor to any state-aided University, will have to be routed through the (higher education) department.

It also allows vice-chancellors to call meetings of their highest decision-making bodies in consultation with the higher education department, and not the chancellor, as was the practice.

Dhankhar had on Saturday, after being officially informed about the cancellation of JU’s special convocation, said, “Systematically, they (state government) are trying to curb the chancellor.” In another tweet, he claimed that non-state actors, backed by the administration, were behind the programme cancellations at educational institutes.

“Apart from Univ programme concellation (cancellation) - last month dozen other programmes were cancelled due to atrocious arm twisting by non-state actors backed by administration.

“I had felt their pain when in fear they so informed me,” and expressed hope that “vibrant civil society” who has been “silent so far” will take note of the developments.

Dhankhar had been engaged in a face-off with the TMC government over a host of issues, since assuming charge as the governor of West Bengal.

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