Published: 06th December 2021
Professor without a Master's degree? Visva-Bharati University under scanner after 'illegal promotion' allegation
An RTI filed late last year revealed that Ghosh is only a pass graduate and was unable to finish his BCom Hons because of low marks
Visva-Bharati University has landed itself square in the middle of a controversy yet again. This time, the allegation is that the varsity promoted a teacher illegally to the post of Professor in 2014. It was alleged that Swapan Kumar Ghosh, the Principal of the Sangit Bhavana, was promoted to the post of a professor even though he does not even have a Master's degree, let alone a PhD, which is necessary for being considered for the post, according to the UGC.
An RTI filed late last year revealed that Ghosh is only a pass graduate and was unable to finish his BCom Hons because of low marks. This was in 1977, the year before he joined VBU as a accompanist in percussions. He went to complete two diplomas — one in Tabla and the other in Sitar — but wasn't able to enrol for a Master's as he had only 35 per cent in his graduation. The RTI reply said that the university has followed the UGC Regulations 2020 for the appointment. But the regulations state that the minimum requirement is a doctoral degree (PhD) for becoming a professor. The other provision is for A-List performers who have performed on television or the All India Radio. Professors at the university said that Ghosh does not fulfil the second criteria either.
Ghosh has allegedly not just been holding the post illegally, but has also been part of many committees and members of councils and the working committee. "He does not have a PhD or a Master's degree and he is being allowed to guide students in their doctoral thesis, while there are others who have been denied the opportunity even though they are eligible," said a professor who was not willing to reveal his name.
Krishna Pada Sinha Roy, former Chairperson of the Bolpur Municipality and an alumnus of VBU, also wrote to the VC and said that if Ghosh is not removed from his post within 15 days, he will move the court.
VBU has been under the scanner during its centenary year due to several tiffs between the VC Dr Bidyut Chakrabarty and the students and staff. The latest blow came in the form of NAAC's accreditation, where VBU got a B+, a dip from the previous B++ in 2015. A video of the VC saying that he is reluctant to work for the university even though he could help boost the rank also went viral after the accreditation was announced.