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Education Minister lays new rules under Bengal varsity Act

Kolkata: State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee on Tuesday laid the rules in connection with the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Act, 2017 (West Bengal Act VII of 2017) in the Assembly apparently curbing some of the powers of Governor over educational institutions.

The minister has, however, claimed that the laying of the rules has nothing to do with the curbing of powers of the Governor. He would enjoy the same power as he used to enjoy in the past and making rules in relation with the West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Act, 2017 is a natural process which is done in the due course of time, he clarified.

Some of the rules which were laid by the minister in the House say that "every communication proposed to be made by the Chancellor (Governor) to any state-aided university shall be routed through the education department and action on such communication shall be taken once the same is endorsed by the department. However, there shall be no Chancellor's secretariat." The rule suggests that the Governor has to communicate to the education department if he wants to send any communiqué to the officials of any of the state-aided universities.

Another rule says that the proposals for conferring any honorary degrees to any person will be placed before the department for concurrence. The department will send the list of awardees to the Governor for his confirmation.

According to the rules laid in the Assembly, the state government will reserve its right to interpret any of provisions of these rules as and when considered necessary. The government will also reserve its right to do anything which it considers necessary to do, not inconsistent with the provision of the Act; even in cases where these rules are silent.

Incidentally, it may be mentioned here that the Governor Jagdeep Dhankar had been in loggerheads with the state government on number of issues.

He visited the Calcutta University to attend senate meeting despite being informed by the university authorities about the cancellation of the meeting.

While talking to the reporters, the minister said that some rules relating to the Act had been pending for more than two years. The laying of rules in the Assembly was a routine work.

"When West Bengal Universities and Colleges (Administration and Regulation) Act, 2017 came into existence, it was clearly stated that the rules in this relation will be framed in the due course. Hence this is nothing new. Nobody's power has been curbed," Chatterjee added.

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