NUJS VC Ishwara Bhat resigns amidst student protests
Students of West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) Kolkata today scored a victory in their fight to effect an overhaul of the University’s administration, as Vice-Chancellor Prof Ishwara Bhat tendered his resignation.
Prof Bhat tendered his resignation, which will take effect on April 8, to Chief Justice of India and Chancellor of NUJS, Justice Dipak Misra today. The letter states,
“…It has been a great privilege and honour to serve this University which I have done with full sincerity, in accordance with law and to the best of my ability…
…However due to health and family reasons, I would be unable to serve the University in the capacity of Vice-Chancellor. Therefore, I would like to tender my resignation from the position of the Vice-Chancellor that shall come into effect on April 7th 2018 after the meeting of the Executive Council.”
He has also revealed that he will be placing the report of the University Review Commission before the Executive Council in its next meeting, as instructed by Justice Misra.
After the recently released Review Commission report acknowledged lapses in the administration of the University, the Students Juridical Association (SJA) at NUJS demanded the immediate ouster of Prof Bhat on March 26. In a strongly worded statement, the students also delivered an ultimatum to the Vice-Chancellor to resign by March 28.
Following silent protests over the last two days, the students’ calls for Prof Bhat’s resignation intensified this morning. And after student representatives met with the VC, it appears that he has agreed to resign from the post.
Dissatisfaction among students and faculty alike over the way the University was run can be traced back to 2013, when petitions were filed calling for the urgent need to examine the falling academic standards at NUJS. Also during Prof Bhat’s tenure, former Registrar Surajit Chandra Mukhopadhyay was ousted after he was found guilty of mismanagement of University funds.
Despite several concerns being raised regarding faculty appointments and infrastructure, Prof Bhat was cleared for a second consecutive term as VC in September 2016. Last year, under growing pressure from the student body, and alumni, NUJS constituted a Review Commission for the first time in its history.
As reported earlier, Prof Bhat was offered the position of Vice-Chancellor at CNLU Patna, following the resignation of the Prof A Lakshminath. However, students at CNLU objected the move, pending the release of the Review Commission report.
After receiving reassurances from Chief Justice of the Patna High Court and Chancellor of the University, Justice Rajendra Menon, CNLU students decided to call of the protest. Meanwhile, Justice Menon has appointed retired judge of the Patna High Court Justice Mridula Mishra as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Read Prof Bhat’s resignation letter:
Images courtesy: Twitter (@NUJS_Speaks)