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As NUJS begins crawl to get new VC, details of process not students’ business, claims admin • Students submit 10,000+ word representation

NUJS starts hunt for registrar, and possibly VC soon
NUJS starts hunt for registrar, and possibly VC soon

NUJS Kolkata is perhaps an inch closer to the appointment of a new vice chancellor (VC) and a permanent registrar and accounts officer after protracted periods of working with temporary arrangements for these posts, according to an email shared by the Student Juridical Association (SJA) with its members.

However, students have allegedly been kept in the dark about the timeline and exact process of their next VC’s appointment, whoever that may turn out to be.

The students have now made a 10,000 word submission to the executive council (EC) and the search committee (read full submissions below).

The NUJS executive council (EC) had rectified an anomaly in NUJS’ new VC search committee by removing the state government member from the committee and reducing its size to three, as is required under regulations, the SJA said in its email.

However, the EC has neither referred to this search committee in the minutes of its latest meeting held on 29 September, nor did the NUJS administration provide the SJA access to any minutes of the search committee’s meeting, therefore leaving the timeline for VC appointment in the grey yet again.

Furthermore, the appointment of a permanent registrar who would be appointed through the advertisement now published by NUJS, would be subject to removal if the Calcutta high court were to decided that former dismissed registrar Surajit Mukhhopadhyay should be reinstated as NUJS’ registrar.

NUJS has functioned without a permanent registrar since Mukhhopadhyay was dismissed in 2016 for alleged financial mismanagement. He has been litigating against his dismissal in the Calcutta high court.

Search committee

In its meeting, the EC had removed the West Bengal government nominee Suparno Moitra and reconstituted the committee as a three-member panel comprising of the Chief Justice of India’s nominee, Justice Arun Mishra, the EC nominee, Calcutta HC chief justice Debashis Kar Gupta, and general council nominee, the West Bengal advocate general Kishore Dutta.

The reconstituted three-member committee also had its first meeting on 29 September, finally, during the EC meeting; all search committee members are also a part of the NUJS EC.

During this overlapping meeting of the EC and the search committee it was decided to advertise for a VC for NUJS within two weeks, according to the SJA’s sources within the EC. However, the final EC minutes apparently did not make any mention of this decision.

NUJS acting registrar Sikha Sen allegedly refused to share the minutes of the search committee’s meeting with the SJA because it had no interest or stake in the matter of appointment of NUJS’ VC, according to the SJA’s email to its members.

According to one student, with the search committee minutes deliberately not finalised and released, the “VC’s advertisement is unlikely to be released before the holidays despite an explicit resolution stating the advertisement has to be released within two weeks from the date of the meeting”, i.e. 29 September.

The SJA had alleged in its representation to the EC that there has been a “policy paralysis and continuing financial stalemate” ever since Talukdar took charge in April this year as temporary VC after the ouster of former VC Prof Ishwara Bhat.

When we contacted NUJS acting vice chancellor justice (VC) Amit Talukdar by phone today, beginning to ask him for comment on the process, he said: “I cannot speak to you, please excuse me.”

NUJS student submissions to Executive Council (PDF)

NUJS student submissions to Search Committee (PDF)

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