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Sunday, May 20, 2012

VC’s Departure Evokes Mixed Reactions

MALDA, 4 MAY: Mixed reactions have been coming after the state government has decided to appoint new vice chancellor (VC) of the University of Gour Banga (UGB) after the expiry of Prof Gopa Dutta’s term on 15 May. Prof Achintya Biswas has been named as the new VC who would be appointed for duration of six months. While the Trinamul Congress influenced forum of intelligentsias – ‘Gour Banga Siksha o Sanskriti Unnayan Mancha’ (GBSSUM) is jubilant at the departure of Prof Dutta, other section of intelligentsias seem to be sad at non extension of her term.

Prof Gopa Datta at Gour Banga Varsity 

Prof Dutta, who is now in Australia to attend an international seminar on the 150th birthday programme of Rabindranath Tagore, joined the UGB on 9 June, 2009 when the varsity was reeling under innumerable problems. She took initiative to lodge the university in its own building instead of the temporary campus of Malda College. Session of Indian History Congress was also held in February, 2011 and was inaugurated by the Governor MK Narayanan. Despite odds from different corners she completed the recruitment process of teachers in 11 new departments to commence the post graduation studies. She also introduced centralized admission system into B Ed course.

Though Prof Dutta claimed that she had got adequate support and encouragement from the state government, the local leaders of the ruling Trinamul Congress were never happy with her. Youth Trinamul leaders staged several demonstrations against her activities and once even stalled the meeting of the university council (UC). After the new UC was formed, the local Trinamul leaders as well as the GBSSUM educationists served a memorandum against her. However, Prof Dutta expressed her reluctance to continue as the VC citing her ill health. However,  political circles explained that her decision was made being irritated at continuous hindrance from the local political leaders.

Eventually, Prof Biswas was named as the next VC yesterday in lieu of Prof Dutta.

Jubilant at the decision the GBSSUM president Prof Prodyot Ghosh said: “It shows that Prof Dutta’s performance was never satisfactory. Hence, the state government did not consider extension of her service.”

Prof Ashim Sarkar said: “Now, we expect the beginning of something better. There was a vicious circle around her. We hope the corrupt nexus would be shattered with her departure.”

Ashish Mishra and Somshankar Sinha also expressed their strong satisfaction as Prof dutta’s departure. They said the state government had taken the right decision by not extending Prof Dutta’s term.

However, Prof Shaktipada Patra, former principal of Government Teachers’ Training College and former UC member said: “We are sad that Prf Dutta is leaving. It’s hard to measure her contribution towards the fast and steady development of the varsity.”

Principal of Gour College Prof Prantosh Sen strongly rebuked the anti Gopa Dutta lobby. “Those who didn’t found a single college themselves were busy only in criticizing Prof Dutta as she didn’t allow them to satisfy their vested interests.” “I’m not sure if the pace of progress as it is now under Prof Dutta’s leadership would continue in days to come,” Prof Sen doubted.

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