Amid tussle with Bengal Governor, Mamata government tables new rule to curtail his chancellor powers

The new rule stipulates 'Every communication proposed to be made by the Chancellor to any State-aided University shall be routed through the (higher education) department.'

Published: 10th December 2019 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th December 2019 10:00 AM   |  A+A-

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOLKATA:  Curbing the power of Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as the chancellor of all state-run universities by default, the state government tabled new rules in the state Assembly where it was mentioned the governor’s nod will no longer be required to call senate meeting and the chancellor’s approval will not be required for selecting candidates for honorary degrees at the convocation.

The higher education department, headed by Minister Partha Chatterjee, on Tuesday, issued a gazette notification that abolished the chancellor’s secretariat, reduced the chancellor’s role in choosing vice-chancellors and took away his power to convene meeting of the highest bodies of the universities. 

The move is said to be a fall out of the ongoing conflict between the state government and the governor. “In case of appointment of the vice-chancellor of a university, the chancellor shall maintain the order of preference of names placed before him,’’ read the notification. Till now, the state government used to send three names to the governor who could choose anyone. 

The rule also said all communications proposed to be made to the chancellor by the vice-chancellor shall be addressed to the secretary of the department.

The new rules named, West Bengal State Universities (Terms and Conditions of Service Vice Chancellors & the Manner of Procedure of Official Communication) Rules, 2019 were introduced to the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Act, 2017.

Sources in the education department said the state had been mulling steps to curb the chancellor’s power after Dhankhar had said in Sept that only the chancellor, vice-chancellor and the administrative bodies of a university had the right to run the daily affairs of the institute, no one else. 

Bengal icons statues to counter BJP in state

Trinamool’s beautification drive in Kolkata and other parts of the state by erecting statues of famed Bengali personalities has become a medium to send a message on ‘’secularism and inclusiveness’’ to counter BJP’s aggressive Hindutva agenda ahead of the civic polls scheduled to be held next year.  “The statues will not only beautify the areas, but also send a message and serve our political purpose to counter BJP’s divisive politics. The personalities, whose statues are being erected, have preached secularism and inclusiveness for centuries,’’ said a Trinamool leader.

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