Published: 15th January 2022
WB Governor vs Mamata govt: Who will appoint interim VC for Diamond Harbour Women’s University?
A letter from the Higher Education Department claimed that they had proposed the name of Dr Soma Bandopadhyay to replace Prof Anuradha Mukhopadhyay as the VC of DHWU
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been at loggerheads with the Mamata Banerjee-led state government ever since he joined. In yet another controversy, the Governor has alleged that his powers have been curtailed by the Mamata government. This time it's the Diamond Harbour Women’s University (DHWU) in focus where the Vice-Chancellor tendered her resignation and the state government and the Governor want to appoint two different individuals for the post.
A letter from the Higher Education Department claimed that they had proposed the name of Dr Soma Bandopadhyay to replace Prof Anuradha Mukhopadhyay as the VC of DHWU. But the Chancellor, Governor Dhankhar, did not approve of the appointment and wanted to appoint Dr Tapan Mandal, who is the Dean of the varsity's Arts Faculty. But what's the reason? Dhankhar, in a letter, said that Dr Soma Bandopadhyay already handles two universities as their VC — West Bengal University of Teachers' Training, Education Planning and Administration (WBUTTEPA) and the Sanskrit College and University. While this is true, the letter from the Higher Education Department mentioned that Dr Bandopahyay will not be dumped with another duty, rather Prof Anuradha Mukhopadhyay will take over as the VC of Sanskrit College and University after she officially resigns on January 15.
What's the rule? Chapter 1, Section 9 (5b) of the Diamond Harbour Women’s University Act 2012 states that "if a vacancy occurs in the office of the Vice-Chancellor by reason of death, resignation, removal, expiry of the term of his office or otherwise, then during the period of such temporary inability or pending the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor, as the case may be, the Chancellor, in consultation with the Minister, appoint a person to exercise the duties the powers and perform the duties of the Vice-Chancellor".
What is missing from this situation at the moment seems to be the discussion. The letter from the Higher Education Department stated that even though the Governor selected Dr Mandal as the interim VC, he has refused to take up the duties because of personal reasons. And thus there is no other option but to appoint Dr Bandopadhyay as the VC of DHWU from January 15 and Dr Mukhopadhyay as the VC of Sanskrit College and University from January 16. Now it remains to be seen whose recommendation is finally executed — the Governor's or the state government's.