New Vice-Chancellors take charge in West Bengal Universities

The Vice-Chancellors of two new universities in West Bengal – Presidency University and Sidhu Kano Birsa University – assumed offices.

While Presidency University was formed after the upgradation of Presidency College to the status of a unitary university, Sidhu Kano Birsa University is being set up to cater to the needs of Bankura and Purulia districts with a mandate to promote the indigenous language, arts and culture of the tribal communities in those districts.

On taking charge, Amita Chatterjee, the Vice-Chancellor of Presidency University, said the syllabus or curriculum for the new university would have to be finalised by April next year so that it will be applicable from the next academic year itself.

While Presidency University has been set up as a unitary university that is not authorised to affiliate other colleges, one of the main purposes of setting up Sidhu Kano Birsa University was to bring the colleges in Bankura and Purulia that are currently affiliated to Burdwan University into the fold of the new university.

“We have seen that certain universities in the State are over-burdened with a large number of affiliated colleges. It was generally suggested that a university not have more than a hundred colleges and Burdwan University was among those that had more than a hundred colleges so it was felt that this university should be set up,” said Subimal Sen, Vice-Chairman of the West Bengal Higher Education Council.

The university has also been set up considering that the region ranks low in the access to higher education. The setting up of the university has been accompanied by opening of colleges in both districts, he added.

Santhali Language

One of the major priorities for the university will also be promotion of indigenous language and culture.This follows the setting up of Santhali-medium schools and the publication and distribution of free school books in the Santhali language in the region.

“We shall have to see what measures can be taken to promote tribal culture. It is one of the goals mentioned in the Act to set up the university itself,” Tapati Mukherjee, the newly-appointed V-C of the University, said over telephone.

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