Governor Vs West Bengal Govt: Education In State Is Politically Caged, Accuses Dhankar

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar, in his latest run-in with the state, has accused the government of politically controlling education.

“Education is politically caged, politically controlled. The political grip on education is frightening,” Dhankar tweeted after no one turned up for a virtual conference he had called of Vice-Chancellors from 23 universities on Wednesday.

Like some other states, West Bengal too has appealed to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to take back its order that final semester university exams be held by September. Dhankar said he was also in touch with the UGC chairman on this debatable issue.

“In these COVID times, I wanted to fathom the problems of colleges and universities and called a virtual conference of Vice-Chancellors. But it was opposed; it is a war-like situation. The roof has fallen on our heads,” he said at a press conference.

Dhankar and the state government have been at loggerheads over several issues — including how education should be run — almost from the time he was appointed West Bengal governor last July.

Though the Governor is Chancellor of state-run universities, the state government has pointed out that all communication by the Governor to Vice-Chancellors should be through the Education Department.

Referring to Dhankar’s call for a meeting of Vice-Chancellors, the state’s Higher Education department tweeted a letter to the Governor saying he was going “beyond his jurisdiction” with his “action.”

Dhankar was livid at the press meet. “The government has the audacity to write this to the governor… The government and the Vice-Chancellors are accountable to me. The government is hoodwinking people, but they cannot do that to me.”

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