Uncertainties Galore over PG Admission in two ‘Headless’ Bengal Varsities

Students who are keen to take admission in postgraduation courses in two premier state-run universities in West Bengal — the University of Calcutta and the University of North Bengal — are facing immense uncertainties.

As per the order of the state higher education department, the admission process has to be completed by October 21 and the classes for the post-graduation courses need to commence from November 1.

However, since both these state universities are ‘headless’ now, even the formal notification for admission in post-graduation courses is yet to be issued.

North Bengal University vice-chancellor Subiresh Bhattacharya, who’s the former chairman of West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC), is currently in CBI custody for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore WBSSC teacher recruitment scam.

On the other hand, a division bench of Calcutta High Court recently dismissed a decision of the state government to reappoint Sonali Chakrabarti Banerjee as the vice-chancellor of Calcutta University. The matter is now pending before the Supreme Court after Banerjee approached the apex court challenging the decision of the high court.

The state higher education department is yet to make it clear as to when the replacements for Bhattacharya and Banerjee will be named.

According to state Education Minister Bratya Basu, since the situation is ‘extraordinary’, any decision on this count will be taken only after consulting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

If the new vice-chancellors are not appointed to these two universities by the next weekend, the process will get delayed substantially because of the extended Durga Puja holiday starting October 1.

Different teachers’ associations in the state have already appealed to the state education department to expedite the appointment process.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty has said that the Education Minister cannot avoid his responsibility claiming this to be an extraordinary situation.

“After all, the future of so many students are at stake,” he said.

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