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'Situation Pertaining in Universities Very Serious': Bengal Guv in Meeting With VCs, Education Secretary

The Bengal Governor Jagdish Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with TMC government over a range of issues, said he would like to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to discuss the situation in the universities.

PTI

Updated:December 24, 2019, 9:40 PM IST
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'Situation Pertaining in Universities Very Serious': Bengal Guv in Meeting With VCs, Education Secretary
File photo of Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar.

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar Tuesday said he has convened a meeting of all the vice-chancellors of the state universities and the education secretary to discuss the "serious situation" in the institutions.

Dhankhar, who has been at loggerheads with the TMC government in the state over a range of issues, said he would like to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to discuss the situation in the universities. The governor alleged that there has been an effort backed by the state government to "usurp" the authority of the chancellor and "immobilise his functioning by non-state actors (protesters) in the front and state actors (state government) in the background".

These, he said, are indicative of a "massive" downslide in the education scenario in the state, he said. Dhankhar's entry into Jadavpur University, where he had gone to attend the annual convocation as Chancellor on Tuesday, was blocked by protestors, said to be members of Shiksha Bandhu Samiti, which is an affiliate of the ruling TMC's trade union wing.

They shouted slogans against the Citizenship Amendment Act and waved black flags which prompted him to denounce the incident as "total collapse of rule of law". "The situation pertaining in the state universities is very serious. I have convened a meeting of all vice-chancellors and the education secretary on January 13," he told a press conference here.

"There is policy paralysis. The paralysis generated by the state to control the universities can be seen from the fact I as chancellor have no input from the higher education department," he said. "Their (state government) mechanism is that even the chancellor, who happens to be the governor, communicate with the vice-chancellors only through the principal secretary to the higher education department. This is a shame on the system and rule of law," Dhankhar said.

Urging Banerjee to meet him, the governor said he would like to do so to discuss the present situation of the state universities.

"She needs to engage in her role as the executive head. The designed confrontation with the chancellor is not at all in the interest of the education or state. As governor I request her to discuss the issue with me after being fully updated about the incidents.

"I would greatly appreciate if she can make it convenient for this in the coming fortnight," he said.

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