Bengal now plans to replace governor as visitor of private varsities
The Bengal BJP said the effort to remove governor Jagdeep Dhankhar from the functioning of private universities was part of chief minister Mamata Banerjee's plans to control the education system.
The West Bengal government plans to replace governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as visitor of the state’s nine private universities, information from the education department indicated on Saturday, days after the cabinet decided that chief minister Mamata Banerjee will replace the governor as chancellor of the 17 state-run universities, triggering a row that continues.
Officials said on condition of anonymity that the government wants education minister Bratya Basu to be the visitor of private universities and a bill will be tabled at the next session of the assembly to implement this. Basu was not available for comment but TMC Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen and state general secretary Kunal Ghosh, who are also spokespersons of the ruling party, did not deny the information.
“The government is doing what is required for betterment of the education system. Those arguing that these positions are not meant for politicians should remember that the Prime Minister is the chancellor of all central universities,” said Ghosh.
Ghosh, however, was not factually correct. The prime minister is the chancellor of Visva Bharati University, Bengal’s sole central university. In other central universities, the post is held either by the President of India or the Vice President, or an eminent person according to decisions passed by the respective university councils. Visva Bharati, set up by Rabindranath Tagore, is the only central university in Bengal.
The private universities in the state are St Xavier’s University, University of Engineering and Management, Sister Nivedita University, Seacom Skills University, Neotia University, JIS University, Brainware University, Amity University and Adamas University.
There was no reaction from Raj Bhawan till Saturday evening although it is the governor who has to give his assent to the bill that the government plans to table in the assembly.
The Bengal BJP said the effort to remove the governor from the functioning of private universities was part of the chief minister’s plans to control the education system.
“Mamata Banerjee wants to have all the powers. This is another move in that direction,” said Bengal BJP’s chief spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya.