Bengal Governor C.V.Ananda Bose To Attend Kalyani University Convocation Ignoring ‘Postponement’

Kalyani University campus entrance. Picture by Sovon ChaudhuriKalyani University campus entrance.

Kalyani, Dec. 6: Bengal Governor C.V.Ananda Bose has announced that he would attend the 30th Convocation of Kalyani University on Thursday morning in Kalyani amid a threat of demonstration by a pro-Trinamul faction of employees who demanded postponement of the event until a full-fledged Vice Chancellor is posted.

Governor’s decision to attend the convocation came barely within three hours of Univerisity Vice Chancellor Amalendu Bhunia being compelled to postpone the event owing to pressure by the Pro Trinamul Sikshabondhu Samity, who demanded deferment of the event until a regular VC is posted since the mmatter is “subjudice” one at Supreme Court. At the same time, they alleged that the degree certificates signed by Bhunia might not be “valid” due to his “temporary” status.

The contention between the Trinamul-led government and the Governor over the recruitment of VCs is a long pending one. To settle the controversy, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Surya Kant had on December 1 asked attorney-general R. Venkataramani, appearing for the governor, to use his “good offices” to find a solution across the table. Following this, on Monday Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee went to Raj Bhavan and discussed with Governor C.V. Ananda Bose, to find out ways to settle the issue.

In such a situation demonstration by the Sikshabondhu Samiti even shocked the Pro-Trinamul teachers associated with the University. The Kalyani town Trinamul leadership also kept itself isolated from the movement. The demonstrations of the Pro-Trinamul nonteaching employees prompted the University authorities to dissolve the organizing sub-committees on Tuesday and eventually to postpone the Convocation – the extended court meeting through to back-to-back notifications on Wednesday afternoon.

Nevertheless, Governor Bose being the Chancellor remained firm to visit Kalyani University campus and to attend the Convocation at the APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium at 11 AM as scheduled originally, despite a possible threat of fresh demonstration at the venue during his presence on Thursday. The scheduled convocation is set to be held after a gap of five years. The last one was held in 2018.

In a late evening development, the Governor’s office issued a formal letter to the District Magistrate of Nadia directing him to make “necessary arrangements for the tour”. An email in this regard was sent to the Nadia District Magistrate S. Arun Prasad at 9.56 PM.

Subsequently, Vice Chancellor Amalendu Bhunia asked all the concerned University officials to be present at the venue of the convocation by 10.30 AM.

DM Nadia S. Arun Prasad said, “I cannot comment on the issues regarding the Convocation since it pertains to the state higher education department. But, if the Governor wishes to attend our district for any reason, we have to extend necessary arrangements as per the protocol courtesy”,

Meanwhile, the Governor’s letter prompted the University authorities to reorganize the event at the last moment which was postponed a few hours ago.

APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium

A senior official of Kalyani University, who refused to be identified, said, “It is true that we were compelled to postpone the convocation due to the agitation by a section of employees and appraised the Governor’s office about the development accordingly. It was very shocking to us to announce the postponement since the interest of a few thousand students was associated with the event. But the Governor’s office later in the evening directed us to go ahead as per the original schedule ignoring the postponement notification and sent an email with the itinerary for his visit to the University”.

University insiders said the late evening move by the Governor rattled the demonstrators, who, however, were likely to make a fresh showdown at the venue during the event.

Earlier on Wednesday evening University’s Registrar Debansu Ray issued a formal notification stating that the Convocation scheduled to be held on December 7 has been “postponed” due to “unavoidable circumstances”.

A large number of students were waiting for the event as they couldn’t receive their degree certificates since no convocation was held during the past five years which created a major problem for pursuing advanced studies, research work, and seeking jobs.

Before announcing the postponement, the Registrar had also issued two separate notifications. The first was dissolving different committees constituted by the vice chancellor to organize the Convocation and the other was about the postponement of court meetings as per the direction of Bengal Government’s Higher Education department.

However, since the two orders were not uploaded to the University website, the nonteaching employees led by

Interim VC Amalendu Bhunia

Trinamul Sikshabondhu Samiti launched a fresh movement being suspicious of organizing the convocation by the Vice Chancellor with administrative support as they demanded categorical notification for the postponement of the convocation.

The fresh agitation eventually prompted Vice Chancellor Amalendu Bhunia to issue further notification during the evening that in unequivocal terms announced the postponement of the 30th convocation.

Both Vice Chancellor Amalendu Bhunia and Registrar Debansu Ray refused to speak with the media person while leaving campus later in the evening.

Anjan Dutta, President of Sikhshabondhu Samiti said, “We demanded for postponement of the convocation for certain legal complications, which the university authorities have agreed….”

But members of Kalyani University Sikshak Samiti, an organization of University teachers, condemned the agitation by the nonteaching employees. Organization’s general secretary Prabir Pramanik termed the agitation as “against the interest of the students”. “This postponement would have conveyed a very bad message to the academic fraternity across the country. Governor has taken the right decision”, Pramanik said.

Krishnendu Roy, a resident of Berhampur, and former President of Trinamul controlled Students’ Union of Kalyani University, who was scheduled to receive his PhD on Thursday, said, “I received a mail earlier in the evening that stated postponement of the convocation. But later in the night, I was informed by the University authority that the Governor would visit the campus and distribute certificates. It is indeed great news since I have been waiting for long to receive my PhD certificates “.

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