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Tussle between Nitish Kumar govt and Raj Bhavan escalates over appointment of VCs

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PATNA, Aug 23: The ongoing tussle between the Nitish Kumar government and the Raj Bhavan further
escalated with the Bihar education department inviting applications for the post of vice-chancellors (VC)
in different universities days after Governor (Chancellor) Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar’s secretariat
issued a similar advertisement.
The chancellor’s secretariat earlier invited applications for the post of VCs in Patna University, Lalit
Narayan Mithila University (Darbhanga), Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University, Babasaheb
Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University (Muzaffarpur), Jai Prakash University (Chapra), BN Mandal
University (Madhepura) and Aryabhatta Knowledge University (Patna), while the education department
on Tuesday invited applications for only five, leaving the last two.
The terms and conditions for the posts are almost the same in both advertisements, except the last date
for submission of applications. According to a circular by the chancellor’s secretariat, the date for
submission of applications for the post in seven universities is between August 24 and 27 while the last
date in the education department’s advertisement is September 13.
It may be recalled that the Nitish Kumar government and the Raj Bhavan have already locked horns over
the freezing of bank accounts of the VC and pro-VC of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University,
The education department refused to withdraw its earlier order on freezing the bank accounts of the
top officials of the university as directed by the Raj Bhavan. The state education department on August
17 stopped the salaries of the vice-chancellor and pro-VC for their alleged failure in inspecting the
educational institutions under their jurisdiction and also for not attending a review meeting convened
by the department.
A day later, Robert L Chongthu, principal secretary to the governor, sent a letter to the bank concerned,
directing it to defreeze the accounts of the two officials and the university with immediate effect.
These developments have triggered a political slugfest between the ruling alliance partners of
Mahagathbandhan government and the opposition BJP.
Coming in support of the governor, Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand told PTI, “The governor’s office
has invited applications for the appointment of VCs and when the due date was about to get over, the
state education department has notified appointment of same VCs from its own end.”
He added, “It is quite obvious that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar deliberately wants to create a scene
of showdown with the governor-cum-chancellor of universities in the state. Basically, Nitishji wants
universities and colleges in Bihar to be run like already defunct government schools and their teachers
treated like the secretariat staff.
“The Bihar government has already failed to implement the new education policy forcing students of
Bihar to take admission in universities in other states. The tragedy is that from 1990 to 2005, it was Lalu
Prasad and now from 2005 to till date, it is Nitish Kumar who is solely responsible for the collapse of
higher education in Bihar.”
Commenting on the governor’s move, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwary told PTI, “Steps taken by the
state education department for the appointment of VCs are as per the law. BJP should not politicise the
matter of appointment of VCs…they (BJP leaders) should not give it a political colour.” (PTI)

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