Mohanpur, May 17: Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose has rejected the names of three eminent scientists as the recipients of D Sc (Honoris Causa) as proposed by the Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswabidyalaya because he found that conferment of this honorary academic degree could create controversy with the allegations of “nepotism” and “bias”.
The rejection which came barely 48 hours before the 22nd convocation scheduled for May 19, has made the BCKV authorities embarrassed as it invited at least one of the three scientists after the Governor’s office communicated its nod about him last week.
The Governor like many other Universities in the state is the ex-officio Chancellor of this premiere agricultural university.
BCKV’s executive council, which has 15 members including the Governor’s representative, in a meeting last month unanimously chose Chittaranjan Kole, Tapas Kumar Kundu, and Himanshu Pathak as the recipients of the honorary DSc degree and sent the names to Governor C.V. Ananda Bose for his approval.
Professor Kole is an expert in the field of genomics and biotechnology. He is also a former VC of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya. Tapas Kumar Kundu is an eminent molecular biologist and is at present attached to the Central Drug Research Institute as its Director. Himanshu Pathak is the Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He is also working as the secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education.
Last week, the office of the Governor, who is also the chancellor of the university, conveyed the nod for Chittaranjan Kole. But on Tuesday, all three names were rejected by the Governor causing sheer embarrassment to the BCKV authorities and its vice-chancellor Subhendu Bikash Goswami.
Vice Chancellor Goswami personally invited Chittaranjan Kole to the convocation. But on Tuesday he apologizes before Kole while informing him that the Chancellor has turned down the EC’s recommendation. Professor Kole said, “This is quite humiliating…”
BCKV VC Subhendu Bikash Goswami said, “I am helpless and embarrassed….the Governor has made some observations, based on which he turn down the approval for the recommended names for honoris causa”.
Vice Chancellor said, “I talked to the Governor who said that the recommended names for the academic honor could raise allegations of bias and nepotism. So he refused to accord his nod”.
“EC had chosen ICAR Director Himanshu Pathak, who is associated with research works of the universities across the country. Moreover, he is a high-profile official in the Department of Agricultural Research and Education. So conferring an award to him could convey a wrong message. At the same time Professor Chittaranjan Kole was a former VC and an award for him could lead to allegations of nepotism… Tapas Kumar Kundu is also quite an influential person …the Governor pointed out”, the VC added.
“This is an unprecedented situation….” VC said further said while adding that the Governor, however, approved the nominees for special awards like Bidhan Udyogpati, and Bidhan Krishak Shiromani.
Senior scientist and BCKV’s former EC member Pranab Chattopadhyay said termed Governor’s decision an “unfortunate” one. “All three scientists are deserving candidates for the academic award. Even if I agree with Governor’s observation about ICAR Director Himanshu Pathak, there was nothing wrong in approving the two others”.