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Jadavpur University, one of the front ranking universities in the state and recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as a centre of excellence, is trying to become a central University casting aside its status of state run university. As a first step towards that goal, the Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) has recently passed a resolution to that effect.
Now, efforts are on to move similar resolution in its executive council before the university approaches the state government for its concurrence. Prof. Partha Biswas, the secretary of JUTA, has explained that they had made a detailed study of the university's present condition and prepared a report which justifies their plea for bringing it under the central university act.
"We have studied data of the last 10 years and the report has been submitted to the chief minister and the education minister. Now, it is up to them to take a decision," comments Prof. Biswas.
However, since the relation between the Congress led UPA-2 government and the Trinamool Congress led West Bengal government has come under severe strain over the issue of getting extra-budgetary support for the state from the Centre, it is learnt that the Jadavpur University authorities have decided to go slow on this lest it gets stuck in the ensuing political tug of war.
There are practical reasons for the academic faculties of this state run university to seek a change in their status from a state university to a central university.
"Funding is a major factor. Also once it becomes a central university, it would be easier for us to retain best of the talents here,'' explains the JUTA secretary. Prof. Ajitava Raychowdhury, head of Department of Economics, concurs. The cash strapped state government provides the bare minimum fund, a greater part of that goes into meeting the salary bill of the teachers and non teaching employees. Lack of proper funding has not allowed the university to build its infrastructure to meet the growing needs.
"A fully fledged university should have a Law School, a Medical School and many other things. For that we need fund which can only be made available once it becomes a central university," observes Prof. Raychowdhury.
Also, the widening gap between the central university pay scale and that of the state universities has become a strong disincentive for the quality teachers to continue with the Jadavpur University.