The West Bengal cabinet, on Monday, approved a proposal to replace the Governor with the Chief Minister as the Chancellor of Aliah University, which is under the jurisdiction of the state Minority Affairs and Madrasa Education Department.
“Already bills have passed in the state Assembly to replace the Governor with the Chief Minister for all state universities under the state Education, Agriculture, and Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Sciences Departments. Similarly, a bill has been passed to replace the Governor with the Education Minister as the visitor for private universities in the state. Somehow the matter of Aliah University was left out. Today, the state cabinet approved that as well. We will shortly forward the bill to the Assembly,” said a member of the state cabinet.
As per norms, the bills will go to the office of Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for his clearance. He will have three options – to give assent, send it back for reconsideration of the state government, or send the same to the President since education is a subject on the concurrent list.
Education Minister, Bratya Basu has, however, said that in case the Governor does not give his consent to the bills, the state government will implement the change by bringing an ordinance.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, however, has said that he will go to any extent to stop this change. “I will request the Governor to send the bill to the Union government since education is in the concurrent list,” he said.
A large section of the educationists and members from the civil society have also criticised the decision to replace the Governor with the Chief Minister as Chancellor of the state universities. Many of them opined that neither the Governor nor the Chief Minister, but reputed and acclaimed educationists should be appointed Chancellors.