JU To Go Ahead With Convocation Despite Interim VC’s Removal By Guv; State Writes to University Registrar

The Jadavpur University has decided to go ahead with the annual convocation ceremony on Sunday to confer degrees to over 5,000 undergraduate, postgraduate, MPhil and PhD students, despite Raj Bhavan’s sudden decision to remove officiating vice-chancellor Buddhadeb Sau from the post.

Soon after West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose removed Sau from his post on disciplinary grounds, West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu accused the Raj Bhavan of destroying the higher education ambience in the state. Trinamool Congress-led state government on Saturday night also wrote a letter to the Registrar of Jadavpur University saying Sau will continue as VC.

The governor, who is the chancellor of all state-run universities, took the decision on Saturday on the eve of the annual convocation of the premier varsity of West Bengal.

Guv Accuses VC Of Defying SC Orders

As per sources, the chancellor got complaints that the VC was defying the Supreme Court’s orders.

“Chancellor said no VC will be allowed to defy the Supreme Court of India. Supreme Court is our ultimate hope. An enquiry committee will be constituted to enquire into the serious allegations against VC. Public money incurred on this unauthorised convocation will be recovered from the salary of the VC and others responsible,” said sources privy to the development.

They further said that students approached the Chancellor’s office with complaints that they had to spend the hard-earned money of their poor parents to come for the “illegal convocation convened by VC under political pressure”.

“The Chancellor’s office has sought legal opinion on whether the money can be recovered from the VC and political forces which pressurised him to convene the illegal convocation,” they added.

Further, the sources said that strict legal action will be taken against former JU international relations department head Om Prakash Mishra over charges of corruption, swindling and harassment

Mishra, who is also a former VC of North Bengal University, is currently the spokesperson of the pro-Trinamool Congress Educationists Forum.

“The Chancellor is determined that he will clean up the universities as per law and the decisions of the Supreme Court of India. Chancellor is convinced that universities in West Bengal and students studying there are better than the best. He will not allow corruption, politics, or violence to destroy the great universities of Bengal,” added sources.

State Vs Guv

Sau had apparently earned the wrath of Raj Bhavan for going ahead with the convocation of the university, which is held on December 24 every year, on the scheduled date despite Bose not having given consent to the function citing legal issues.

However, despite the governor’s order, all officials and heads of departments have been asked to reach the university by 9 am for convocation, a report by Times of India said quoting sources.

The higher education department had given the ‘go ahead’ to JU for holding the convocation after both Sau and Registrar Snehamanju Basu had called upon Basu.

In a post on X on Saturday, Basu said, “I have come to know from media reports that the professor authorised to exercise the powers of the vice chancellor of Jadavpur University has been removed by the governor. It appears that he is hell-bent on destroying the higher education ambience in the state.”

“For that, he is not only disregarding the advice of the elected state government, but he has also stooped to a new low by disrespecting the interim judgement of the Highest Court of the land. To maintain the status quo in the universities. He has bared his fangs and nails,” Basu added.

Holding the convocation is “important and crucial for the future of students” and the university fraternity is “exploring the legal and technical issues involved”, Jadavpur University Executive Council member and leader of All Bengal University Teachers’ Association Goutam Maity said.

“Sau was only working to facilitate that the JU convocation is held on the scheduled date as demanded by the students and others. The higher education department responded after being approached by students. Let’s hope the Hon’ble governor will see to it that there is no impasse and students don’t suffer,” he added.

Maity also said it appears that Sau had been mandated to oversee the convocation arrangements by the university’s decision-making bodies.

(With PTI Inputs)

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