‘Wanton interference’: Raj Bhavan stings Bihar education dept over letter to V-Cs | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Wanton interference’: Raj Bhavan stings Bihar education dept over letter to V-Cs

Mar 01, 2024 06:24 PM IST

The Raj Bhavan’s letter was sent hours after the Bihar education department sent a letter to vice chancellors that threatened action for skipping a meeting

PATNA: Bihar governor Rajendra V Arlekar’s office has told chief secretary Amir Subhani to act against education department officials who sent a sharply-worded letter to vice-chancellors for skipping a meeting on the governor’s instructions.

Bihar governor Rajendra Arlekar greets state chief minister Nitish Kumar on his birthday in Patna on Friday. (ANI)
Bihar governor Rajendra Arlekar greets state chief minister Nitish Kumar on his birthday in Patna on Friday. (ANI)

“The wanton interference of some officers using the kind of language used is only to be deprecated and it is expected that an explanation is called and this office is apprised of the result of enquiries made and follow-up action taken,” Robert L Chongthu, principal secretary to the governor, said in a letter to the chief secretary on Thursday.

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The stinker from Raj Bhavan came hours after education department officials took offence to the vice-chancellors and other top university officials not attending a meeting called by the department.

It said the governor, in his capacity as the chancellor of the state universities, had declined permission to the university brass to attend the education department meeting.

Raj Bhavan’s communication cited the intemperate language used in letters sent by higher education department director to vice chancellors. In the one sent to the Patliputra Univerity vice chancellor, it said the department called the V-C’s decision to seek guidance from “any other authority” (apart from the department) “foolishness” and unwarranted.

Raj Bhavan said vice-chancellors of Patliputra University, Magadh University and Purnea University sought directions from the Chancellor’s office regarding attending “Unmukhikaran” programme and another review meeting called by the higher education director on Thursday requiring all V-Cs, registrars and examination controllers of universities to be in attendance. “On directions of the Chancellor, permission was not accorded,” he said.

“The directions were from the office of the Chancellor who as per the Bihar State Universities Act, 1976 is the authority vested with powers to issue such clarifications and guidelines as and where required. Section 9(7)(ii) of Bihar State Universities Act, 1976 states that the Chancellor shall have the power to issue directions to the universities in the administrative or academic interest of the universities which he considers to be necessary,” said the letter.

“So, as per the Act, it is the Chancellor, who is empowered to issue any direction with respect to administrative or academic interest. Further, it is an established norm that higher educational institutions are given autonomy in matters of administration and learning and it is the office of the Chancellor as per the applicable Act in Bihar and elsewhere, that overlooks affairs of the University. The role of the State Government as per the Bihar State Universities Act is incorporated in Sections 45 to 54 which are provisions relating to financial matters.”

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    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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