statesman news service
KOLKATA, 6 JUNE: Amidst the controversy over the termination of Prof Benjamin Zachariah, Prof Tapati Guha-Thakurta, director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, who was an external member of the academic committee of the History department, expressed her wish to resign from the committee.
In a mail addressed to the university authorities, she said she had been “visibly disturbed” by the complete lack of rules in the department. Though the Benjamin issue was triggered by a spat between the professor and his senior Prof Rajat Kanta Ray, the recent trouble ensued with the issue of “secrecy” of the question papers in which Prof Guha-Thakurta got linked.
The semester examination of the History department will commence on Monday.
It was decided at the meeting of the moderation committee that the two modules that Benjamin taught will be tested on take-home, open-book system. The question paper was made accordingly, though Prof Guha-Thakurta opposed the idea at the meeting.
“I was extremely uncomfortable with the phone calls that followed thereafter on the matter of dropping the “take home” examination option for this year. Finally, I must underline that I have not been involved in any changes that may have been brought about in the PG examination questions that were mutually agreed upon, moderated and properly sealed in official envelopes in that meeting,” wrote Prof Guha-Thakurta in her mail.
She added that lack of transparency and proper procedure in handling of several critical issues, like examination questions, examination formats and syllabi has been very disconcerting, which finally forced her to dissociate from the academic committee.
However, dismissing any possibility of question papers being tampered with, V-C Prof Malabika Sarkar said: “Question papers are untouched. But it is true that there will be no take-home questions as this is not in our policy.”
Meanwhile, amidst reports that he had been dismissed, Prof Benjamin said, “I have resigned before I got the letter from the university.”
However, the university authorities maintained that after Benjamin received his termination letter, he submitted his