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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightBengal govt to make CM ...

Bengal govt to make CM varsities' Chancellor, Governor may lose the role for the first time

Bengal govt to make CM varsities Chancellor, Governor may lose the role for the first time

The West Bengal government, in a historic move, decided to make the Chief Minister the Chancellor of all state universities. The position has belonged to the Governor since Independence.

Education Minister Bratya Basu said the government will introduce a bill in the Assembly proposing that the Chief Minister, not the Governor, will be the Chancellor of the state universities. Once the bill is passed in the Assembly, it will be sent to the Governor.

In case the Governor refuses to clear the bill, the state government will bring an ordinance to implement this change of practice, added the minister. The announcement was made after a state cabinet meeting at the state Secretariat, Nabanna.

The initiative to break the protocol is part of the confrontation between the Mamata Banerjee government and state Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar. Opposition parties have already criticised the initiative. The Governor hasn't commented on the matter yet.

Criticising the initiative of the state government, BJP's spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya called it a direct attempt to have control over the autonomy of the state universities. He added that Mamata Banerjee has been trying to run the state as an independent entity since the beginning. "This is against tradition and convention. She has taken such a decision which no other state government has done before".

CPI-M Central Committee member Dr Sujan Chakraborty alleged that the initiative is part of having direct administrative and political control over the state universities. He noted the decision comes at a time when several state ministers and officers are in question because of rampant corruption in the education sector.

"This is complete politicisation of the functioning of the state agencies. CM Banerjee is trying to destroy the autonomous nature of the state universities," said the Left leader. He also pointed out that the Chief Minister is also demanding complete autonomy for the central agencies which is contrary to her own intentions with the new initiative.

The ongoing CBI probe into the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities has already caused a rift between representatives of the Centre and the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Educationists haven't reached a unified opinion on the matter. Historian and Sanskrit scholar, Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri said the current West Bengal Governor had been creating many obstacles for the state government to function properly.

He backed the new initiative and said the state government has no option but to make such a movie because Dhankhar is holding back many files including those relating to the appointment of Vice-Chancellors of universities.

Educationist, political analyst, and former Principal of the then Presidency College, Dr Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay said he did not see a reason to break away from the convention.

"The CM is the administrative head of the state and a political personality. The event of the Chief Minister being the Chancellor of the university means political interference in the independent functioning of the institutions," he added.

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TAGS:west bengal Mamata Banerjee west bengal cm Bengal governor 
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