Pro-Trinamul Employees Of Kalyani University Locked In Vice Chancellor Over Convocation Controversy

Kalyani, 05 Dec.: A section of pro-Trinamul non-teaching staff and students of Kalyani University, locked Vice Chancellor Amalendu Bhunia and 16 other officials including two women for about nine hours since Tuesday afternoon demanding suspension of the 30th convocation scheduled for December 7 (Thursday) until a regular VC is posted. They alleged that an interim VC like Bhunia has no right to organize such an event and degree certificates of students signed by him might not be “valid” ones due to his “temporary” status.

The agitators who began the demonstration outside the VC’s Secretariat at 12.30 pm locked its entrance, a little after VC Amalendu Bhunia began a preparatory meeting for the convocation with the senior officials like Registrars and others.

The demonstrators, who were led by the Trinamul Sikshabondhu Samiti, opened the gate only after the Vice Chancellor agreed to dissolve the committees that were constituted for organizing the convocation. University Registrar Debansu Rayt told reporters that necessary notification in this regard will be issued on Wednesday. However, both the VC and the Registrar refused to comment on whether the convocation would be held or not. 

The University is scheduled to organize the Convocation, after a gap of five years, for which students have been eagerly waiting as they couldn’t receive their degree certificates during the past five years which created a major problem for pursuing advanced studies, research work, and seeking jobs as well.

A large number of At least 700 students have already been registered as recipients of degrees under different faculties. But the sudden agitation for suspension of the convocation has caused serious problems to the students, waiting for degree certificates.

Kalyani University campus entrance.

President of the Kalyani University unit of Sara Bangla Trinamul Sikshabondhu Samiti, Anjan Dutta said, “We want the convocation, but not in such a hurried manner. We have demanded to organize the event only after the joining of a regular vice-chancellor. This is mainly because we have doubts about the validity of Amalendu Bhunia’s signature on the certificates being an interim vice Chancellor”.

Tuhin Ghosh, a researcher and students’ wing leader also echoed Dutta. “The appointment of the interim vice chancellor is a subjudice matter.  Now we want a convocation under regular vice Chancellor and for this, we want to wait until the controversy of posting of VC is resolved permanently”.

However, members of Kalyani Biswabidyalaya Sikshak Samity, an organization of university teachers, have condemned the agitation saying that the convocation is a “mere necessity” for the sake of students, who could not get their degree certificates in the last five years. A delegation of the teachers also met the VC and submitted a deputation to organize urging not to suspend the convocation in the interest of students.

Biswambhar Mondal, a professor of Commerce faculty and member of the organization said, “This convocation is much-awaited ine and very important to the students who passed their UG and PG courses a few years ago but couldn’t receive degree certificates. They are in deep trouble in the absence of the certificates….”

VC Amalendu Bhunia told The NfN, “The doubts about interim VC’s authority to organize convocation and validity of his signature on the certificate is unfounded. There are several instances of interim VCs organized convocations. I am shocked to learn about the demand for suspension of the event when everything is ready and the governor has issued his concurrence. I have appraised both the chief minister and the governor about the agitation and waiting for their direction”.

To settle the controversy over the recruitment of VC, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Surya Kant had on Friday asked attorney-general R. Venkataramani, appearing for the governor, to use his “good offices” to find a solution to the vexed issue by suggesting to the constitutional authorities to resolve the matter across the table.

On Monday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee went to Raj Bhavan and discussed with Governor C.V. Ananda Bose, how to solve “pending problems” over the appointment of full-term vice-chancellors.

“We discussed in detail and both of us agreed on some points….which I cannot disclose”, she added.

Trinamul Congress leadership in Kalyani has isolated itself from the agitation, which is supported by a section of the party. “In a  situation when the chief minister and Governor are trying to solve the issue any agitation ignoring the interest of the students is uncalled for”, a Trinamul leader in Kalyani said.

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