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JU cancels convocation to be addressed by Bengal Governor in view of black flag threat by students

In a communication to Dhankhar, Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das said the decision was arrived at 'in view of the consequent need to avoid any untoward incident in the campus'.

Published: 22nd December 2019 12:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2019 08:46 AM   |  A+A-

Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University (Photo | Facebook)

By PTI

KOLKATA: The Jadavpur University on Saturday decided not to hold the scheduled Special Convocation programme to be addressed by the Chancellor who is also the state's governor, in view of the threat of students' bodies to show black flag to him, an official said.

The university's annual convocation which does not require the Chancellor's presence, however, will be held on the same date - December 24, JU Registrar Snehamanju Basu told PTI.

Honorary doctorate degrees are conferred to eminent personalities in special convocations in all universities and it is followed by the annual convocation.

The decision not to hold the Special Convocation has been taken at an Executive Committee meeting in the wake of the threat of Left students' bodies to show black flag to Chancellor and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar if he presides over the function, Basu said.

"We wanted to avoid any situation during an occasion where luminaries would have been conferred honorary doctorates in various disciplines," the registrar said.

She said the Special Convocation where four dignitaries will be conferred honorary doctorate degrees will be held on a later date "due to some emerging situations".

The decision to hold the annual convocation on the same date stands "but we will discuss the rescheduled timings at a meeting of the Court on Monday", Basu said.

The Court is the highest decision-making body of the institute.

Arts Faculty Students Union General Secretary and SFI leader Debraj Debnath said the left union has submitted a letter to the university authorities saying "the students aired reservation to be part of any event in the university which will be attended by the governor due to his statements and stance on issues like the NRC, CAA and his role in calling police to the campus on September 19."

Dhankhar had asked the JU vice-chancellor to call the police when Union minister Babul Supriyo had been manhandled by students at the JU campus.

"We would show him the black flag and raise slogans if he steps into the campus on December 24. The students are furious over his utterances (on the NRC and CAA) and want to register their protests," Debnath said.

A senior professor of Jadavpur University Teachers' Association said, "The Special Convocation had to be cancelled in view of the sentiments of a section of students, who are stakeholders of the institute."

He said those scheduled to be conferred honorary doctorates - former foreign secretary Salman Haidar, veteran Bengali poet Sankha Ghosh, Eminent scientist Prof C N R Rao, and Director of Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay - have been intimated about the JU's decision about the postponement of the convocation.

Another JU source said two of the four personalities had informally told the authorities about their inability to accept honorary doctorate at the Special Convocation "for certain reasons."

Dhankhar had reportedly expressed his reservations about two of the four names at the Court meeting in October.

He later agreed when an overwhelming majority of the Court members refused to change the names, the source said.



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