Ummid Assistant

Jamia Millia launches courses on China, Afghanistan

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Views & Analysis

Mamata's bid to de-politicise education

Saturday November 05, 2011 05:04:32 PM, Sirshendu Panth, IANS

Kolkata: The writ of students, non-teaching employees and politicians will no longer run in the decision making process of West Bengal's state universities, unlike the scenario in the erstwhile Left Front regime, with the Mamata Banerjee government unveiling a slew of reforms aimed at leaving academics to academicians.

Before the April-May assembly election, Banerjee and a large section of intellectuals had repeatedly criticised the Left for establishing a 'partycracy' in education. The Trinamool Congress chief had promised to rectify it if her party came to power.

True to her promise, this week her government passed an ordinance covering 13 state universities and barring academicians who are members of or associated with any political party from becoming vice chancellors.

The ordinance, which has provisions for sweeping reforms, decrees that university governing bodies like senates, courts and syndicates would have no representation from students, research scholars, legislators, state government nominees, non-teaching employees, registered graduates, trade unions and peasant organisations - something unthinkable during the Left rule.

These sections had been playing key roles in the running of the universities during the Left Front regime. At times, the opinions of these representatives, mainly with Left backgrounds, carried more weight in academic matters than even top ranking varsity administrators, including vice chancellors.

Principals of 15 affiliated colleges to be selected by the state government will form part of the governing bodies.

The ordinance also provides for removal of vice chancellors on several grounds, including incompetence.

However, the measures have triggered howls of protests from the Left Front which described the passing of the ordinance as "draconian" and "undemocratic", with the Left-leaning students and non-teaching employees taking to the streets.

Education apart, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be having a rethink on the total aversion she displayed to her personal security during the early days in power.

Banerjee suddenly seems to have woken up to the need for strengthening the protective ring around her, of all places, in the VVIP zone of the state secretariat. The ministers have been barred from briefing the press from the podium outside Banerjee's first floor chamber. The podium will now be used exclusively by the chief minister, while her ministerial colleagues can interact with the media in the nearby press corner on the same floor.

Banerjee, who had earlier asked police not to use hooters or stop traffic to ensure free passage for her convoy and whose car still stops at all traffic signals, agreed to a stricter security after promptings from the security agencies.

Movement of people have been restricted over a 50-m stretch in the VVIP corridor in front of her chamber - an unprecedented step. During the Left Front days, mediapersons had free access in the area and regularly posed queries to then chief minister Jyoti Basu and his successor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

However, according to police officers, Banerjee's security details have been revised in the wake of a heightened threat perception from Maoists.

But it was in the area of health - a portfolio looked after by Banerjee herself - that the government had its most embarrassing moments.

A newborn died at a Murshidabad district sub-divisional hospital Wednesday allegedly after its mother was swabbed with acid instead of disinfectant for pre-delivery cleaning, leading to a furore. The administration denied the charge.

The incident, days after the death of 28 babies in two government hospitals, drew strong condemnation from the opposition as also the civil society and brought into the open the fragile state of health care in West Bengal.

(Sirshendu Panth can be contacted at









Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page



Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS




Top Stories

All nine accused in 2006 Malegaon blast case granted bail

In a major development in the 2006 Malegaon blast case, the Special MCOCA Court today granted bail to all the nine Muslim accused who were in jail since 2006/2007.  »

Hindu extremists used two Muslims to plant bombs in Malegaon: Report

NIA admits error in probe; Declares Malegaon youths innocent


  Most Read

AMU Experts reject Malegaon proposal of land for sub centre

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) experts a week after they toured Maharashtra for inspecting the lands for the proposed AMU sub centre in the state, found the lands identified in Malegaon  »

Notice to centre on MPs facing criminal charges

The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central government on a petition seeking fast tracking of cases against 162 MPs facing serious criminal charges. The apex court bench headed by Justice P. Sathasivam issued notice on a petition by former chief election commissioner  »


  News Pick

Rahul Gandhi may be Congress working president soon

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is likely to be appointed the working president of the party soon to help his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi, setting the stage for a transition process at the helm of India's oldest party, informed party sources said. "The delegation of higher   »

Central Railway turns 60 Saturday

Steeped in rich history synonymous with the development of Mumbai as the country's commercial capital, the Central Railway, headquartered here but catering to a large part of the country, turns 60   »

Haj 2011: Over 2.5mn set for once in a lifetime journey of faith

he holy city of Makkah reverberated with chants of “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik” (O God, here I am answering your call) as nearly three  »


Picture of the Day

More than 2.5mn people from all across the world have gathered in Makkah for Haj which starts November 05, 2011 this year. Haj, the fifth pillar of Islam is a religious journey to the House of Allah in Makkah. This is in response to the call of Prophet Abraham when Allah commanded him to call mankind to perform Haj. Haj is the largest gathering of Muslims as about three million Muslims from all over the world meet to worship their Lord. All barriers including language, color, class and race are broken.

(Photo: Arab News/Ahmad Hashad)



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant






About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.