'Against spirit of democracy': Eminent personalities on Mamata becoming chancellor
The appointment of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as the chancellor of state-run universities will ''deal a blow'' to their autonomy and freedom, and is against the spirit of democracy, a group of eminent personalities of West Bengal said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement, signed by 40 noted people, also said the decision of the state Cabinet ignores the long-standing demand of the people to have an eminent educationist in that post.
''We are surprised and stunned over the recent decision of the state Cabinet to appoint the chief minister as the chancellor of state universities. This ignores the long-standing demand of the people to have an eminent educationist in that post,'' it said.
''We all know about the imperatives of autonomy and freedom of educational institutions, and such a decision by the Cabinet will deal a blow to that, and is against the spirit of democracy,'' it added Among those who signed the statement are actor Kaushik Sen, directors Anik Dutta and Raja Sen, painter Samir Aich, thespian Bibhas Chakraborty, social activist Miratun Nahar and rights activist Sujato Bhadra.
If an educationists is appointed to that post, it will prevent outside interferences in the running of the institutions, the statement said.
Since coming to power, the present regime has been putting up its own people to run primary and secondary education boards, school managing committees and governing bodies in higher educational institutions, it claimed.
''The decision to appoint the education minister as the 'Visitor' of private universities is also fraught with the similar danger of meddling into their affairs,'' the statement said.
Actor Kaushik Sen told PTI, ''I am opposed to the appointment of the chief minister as the chancellor as much as we are against the practice of the governor becoming the chancellor.'' The government is likely to move a bill in the ongoing Monsoon session of the state assembly in regard to the cabinet decision to replace Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar with the chief minister as the chancellor of state-run varsities.
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