Calcutta University has been running without VC from last seven months

Calcutta University has been running without VC from last seven months

Calcutta University has been headless without a permanent vice-chancellor (V-C) in the last seven months and even an interim V-C in the past month. Besides, no teacher was appointed in the last five years and several administrative posts are vacant. 

At a press conference held at the Calcutta Press Club on Monday, Calcutta University Teachers’ Association (CUTA) general secretary Sanatan Chatterjee said, “Neither a teacher has been appointed nor a penny spent on the university’s infrastructure development in five years.” 

He added that temporary teachers had been appointed in affiliated colleges with only one teacher for each subject against the minimum requirement of two. 

“We fear a big loss to the university and the 150 colleges due to the government’s indifference towards Calcutta University.”

Criticising the West Bengal University (Amendment) Act, 2011, and the West Bengal University and College (Administrative and Control) Act, 2017, Chatterjee said, “Teachers don’t have an elected representative in the Permanent Senate Syndicate, the university’s highest decision-making authority.”

According to Chatterjee, almost all administrative posts are also temporary. “Despite their low strength, teachers are relegated to the administrative posts. Consequently, students are suffering. The university is being run undemocratically with teachers, students and officers not part of it. We, therefore, immediately demand the appointment of a V-C and an elected Permanent Senate Syndicate to maintain the quality of academic research in this university,” he said.

The situation has “deteriorated to the extent that Rajabazar Science College doesn’t have Internet connectivity since Friday. We don’t know who will decide on restoring the service. Various research projects are pending”, he added.

A CUTA member alleged that he had written to the governor thrice to meet him but didn’t get a response. 

The Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) has emailed CUTA regarding the financial condition of the institute. Jadavpur University’s expenses other than salaries were Rs 47 crore in 2022–23 as against the Rs 22 crore allocated by the government.

JUTA said that the university would have to take loans if the situation continues. When the V-C asked for help from the higher education department, he was told that an additional Rs 6 crore would be granted. However, JUTA general secretary Parthapratim Roy alleged that no additional money was granted; it was part of the allocation. 

Meanwhile, the state government and professors are at loggerheads over the ordinance to form a search committee for appointing a V-D. 

According to the ordinance, the committee will consist of five members instead of three—representatives of the UGC, governor, senate, higher education council and the chief minister’s (CM) government—with no university representative. 

The university representative was excluded because the governor is unlikely to sign the Bill appointing CM Mamata Banerjee as the chancellor of government universities.