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Bill on rejig of search committees for Bengal state universities passed

Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) A bill to rejig the formation of the search committees for appointment of vice chancellors in state universities was passed in the West Bengal assembly on Friday.

However, the BJP legislators, who opposed the bill on grounds that it was meant for ensuring numerical supremacy of the state government representatives in the search committees, immediately moved to the Raj Bhavan and requested the Governor CV Ananda Bose not to give consent to the bills.

In May this year, the state government had brought an ordinance making changes in the formation of search committees. However, the change has created a major controversy as in the new system, the state university, for which a vice chancellor will be appointed, will not have any representative in the search committee.

As per the ordinance, the five-member search committee will have one representative nominated by the Chief Minister, one by the state education department, one by the state higher education council, one by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and one by the Governor, who by virtue of the post, is also the Chancellor of all state universities.

In the earlier system there was a three-member search committee with one representative nominated by the state Education Department, one by the state university concerned and one by the Governor.

A PIL was also filed at the Calcutta High Court against the said ordinance enabling rejigging of the search committees.

The ordinance also attracted strong criticism from the state’s academic circles who questioned why the state university concerned for which the appointment of vice chancellor will be made will not have any representative in the said search committee.



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