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Appointment of KU dean of students sparks off controversy

“It’s mandatory to include pro-VC as one of the panelists in the selection committee for any kind of academic and administrative appointment in our university. But mysteriously, this is for the first time I was not asked to become a member of the committee for the selection of DSW post. I don’t know why and the VC and registrar could reply in this regard,” Professor Goutam Pal, pro-VC of KU, told The Statesman.

Subhendu Maiti | Kolkata |

Kalyani University (KU) has appointed a dean of students’ welfare (DSW) allegedly flouting the eligibility criteria required for the post triggering a serious controversy.

Several candidates who appeared before the interview board for the post, faculties and other staff of the university alleged that the Professor Manas Kumar Sanyal, vice chancellor (VC) of the KU, was instrumental behind the entire process of appointment of Mr Rana Ghosh as the DSW though the latter did not meet the essential qualifications required by the university.

During June in 2021, the KU authorities had floated an advertisement inviting candidates for the post. Essential qualifications for the post were:

I. Uniformly good academic record with a Master’s Degree with minimum 55 % marks or its equivalent grade in the point scale wherever a grading system is followed

II. At least 15 years’ of experience as Sr Lecturer/Reader/Assistant Professor in the AGP of Rs 7000 (pre revised) and above or with 8 years of service in the AGP of Rs 8000 (pre-revised) and above including as Associate Professor along with experience in educational administration in Academic Institutions like university or in an institute of higher learning of which 5 years must be in a university or in an institute of post graduate study.

(Or) Comparable experience in research establishments and other institutions of higher learning (Or) 15 years’ administrative experience of which 8 years shall be as deputy registrar or equivalent post.

“The appointment of Mr Rana Ghosh as the DSW was made completely bypassing the eligibility criteria as he was neither an assistant nor associated professor. He was not also any comparable post-holder enjoying academic grade pay (AGP) in a university or college. I am surprised to see how both the screening and selection committees overlooked this crucial fact related to the eligibility of the selected candidate,” said Professor Alok Ghosh, former head of the history department and a senior teacher of the of the KU.

“It’s mandatory to include pro-VC as one of the panelists in the selection committee for any kind of academic and administrative appointment in our university. But mysteriously, this is for the first time I was not asked to become a member of the committee for the selection of DSW post. I don’t know why and the VC and registrar could reply in this regard,” Professor Goutam Pal, pro-VC of KU, told The Statesman. “I doubt whether the candidate appointed as DSW has essential eligibility for the post,” Prof. Pal said.

Professor Sanyal was not available for comment though this correspondent tried to contact him repeatedly over his three mobile numbers and landline phone installed at his university office in Kalyani. Nor did he respond to a message sent by this correspondent to his WhatsApp number on Thursday seeking his reactions on the charges of irregularities in appointment of the DSW. “I won’t comment on the matter though I have signed the appointment letter of the DSW. With the directives of the VC his appointment was made and therefore he knows everything. You talk to the VC,” Dr Debansu Ray, KU registrar, told The Statesman today after making several calls to his different mobile phone numbers since last week.

Prof Bhabesh Pramanik, principal of the state government-sponsored Domkal College in Murshidabad, who stood second in the interview, said, “I think myself the fittest candidate to become the KU DSW but I smelled a rat behind the process of appointing the person for the post. I came to know that nepotism was involved behind selecting the person as DSW.”

“I have more than 20 years’ experience as a college teacher since 2000. I used to deal with students’ union election process as an election officer when I was there at the KU from 1991 to 1999.” he added.

Rubbishing the allegations Mr Ghosh said, “I have fulfilled essential qualifications needed for the DSW’s post. I have served the Gurunanak Institute of Dental Science & Research at Panihati as an administrative officer for 15 years from 2004 and then was promoted to the post of secretary at the same private institute till I joined the KU.”

“My administrative experience at the private dental college is equivalent to the eligibility criteria required for the DSW post. The allegations of nepotism in connection with my selection as the DSW are baseless. The university authorities as well the selection board have selected me considering my eligibility and I joined in November,” Mr Ghosh said.