State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee ruled out any possibility of the Vice Chancellors of universities across the state participating in a video conference with Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar over Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA) campaign on Thursday.
Under the VISAKA campaign, the students of higher education institutions may soon earn academic credits for project work. The Centre will see those students as volunteers who are committed to transform India into a digital, cashless economy.
On Wednesday, the state Education minister clearly stated that the Vice Chancellors and state Higher Education Secretary will not join the video conference with the Union Minister for Human Resource Development scheduled on Thursday.
The conference was supposed to be held at Bikas Bhavan, at the office of state Education minister. The notification which reached to the state Education department from Jaspal S Sandhu, the publication officer of University Grants Commission (UGC) on December 6, mentioning the scheduled video conference, will not be attended by the Vice Chancellors.
“Examination is going on in most of the universities in Bengal. It is impossible for the V-Cs to attend the conference,” Chatterjee said.
The Centre is now making it clear that a cashless economy will combat black money and ensure tax compliance. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) wants students from 36,000 higher education institutions, including IITs, NITs, IIITs, IISERs, Central universities and colleges, to be the agency for educating their neighbourhoods to take to cashless transactions which can be tracked.
But as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the face of the campaign against demonetisation implemented by Centre, the Bengal government seem reluctant to implement VISAKA.
However, some senior officers of education department said: The HRD Ministry is not supposed to give directions on what constitutes as academic credit. Each institution has its own academic forum to decide academic matters. They are supposed to take a call.”