West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo)

Withdraw restrictions imposed on state universities, CM Banerjee writes to PM

The Centre last month said public-funded universities will have to get prior consent if they want to hold online global conferences on issues pertaining to the security of the country or matters directly related to India’s internal matters
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:32 AM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the restrictions imposed by the Centre on state-funded universities for holding virtual international seminars and training.

The Centre last month said public-funded universities will have to get prior consent if they want to hold online global conferences on issues pertaining to the security of the country or matters directly related to India’s internal matters.

In her letter to Modi, Banerjee said that the state governments were not consulted before imposing such restrictions and would be seen as contempt for the constitutional powers of the states.

“I would, therefore, urge you to kindly issue directions to the ministry of education for withdrawing the office memorandum with immediate effect and with suitable advice to consult the state governments, before issuing any such directions or order in future,” Banerjee wrote.

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On January 15, the Centre issued the memorandum revising the guidelines for holding virtual international conferences and training.

“The state governments are duly empowered under law to deal with any act committed by any educational institution which violates any law or is contrary to the interest of National security,” she wrote.

Scientists from across India have raised objections against the new norms. A section of them has written a letter to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal requesting him to withdraw the guidelines.

“Our universities must enjoy the highest possible degree of self-governance and freedom to conduct their educational activities in regular interaction with their counterparts abroad,” Banerjee said.

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