Kolkata, Nov 8 (PTI) Visva-Bharati Vice-Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty, whose five-year tenure in the central university was riddled with controversies including the land row with economist Amartya Sen and the UNESCO plaque issue, retired on Wednesday.
In a notification, the varsity said that Prof Sanjoy Kumar Mallik, the principal of Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts), was appointed as the officiating vice-chancellor.
Mallik will “perform the duties of the vice-chancellor with effect from forenoon of November 9 until a new vice-chancellor assumes office or until further orders of the Ministry of Education,” the notification said.
The tenure of Chakarborty, who became the university’s VC in 2018, was full of controversies that often took political turns and landed in courts.
The varsity in April this year directed Amartya Sen to vacate 1.38 acres of land on the Santiniketan campus claiming he is enjoying it unauthorisedly. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took the side of the Nobel Laureate and personally handed him some related official documents. The matter is now sub-judice.
The latest controversy was created after plaques announcing that Santiniketan was a UNESCO World Heritage Site were installed. The plaques bear the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ex-officio Chancellor, and Chakraborty, but not that of Rabindranath Tagore who had founded the university in 1921, leading to demands for removing them from various quarters.
In 2020, Visva-Bharati was closed for a certain period following violent protests against the varsity's decision to construct a boundary wall around the venue of Poush Mela, a prestigious annual cultural event that started more than a century ago.
A section of university students and teachers had also run-ins with Chakraborty over several issues. PTI SUS NN