Visva Bharati University

President Gives in to Govt, Withdraws Own Decision on Visva Bharati University VC Appointment

President Ram Nath Kovind has withdrawn its own decision on the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor (V-C) of Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan, giving in to the government.


President Kovind had appointed Swapan Kumar Dutta as the head of the varsity. The President is also learnt to have scrapped the panel of three finalists sent by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, last year.

The HRD ministry had also asked Kovind to reconsider his appointment of Dutta. The government will now conduct fresh nominees for the VC post of Visva Bharati University.

The panel had earlier suggested Swapan Kumar Dutta, an agricultural scientist; PN Mishra of the Institute of Management Studies at Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) in Indore; and, Sankar Kumar Nath of the geology department at IIT Kharagpur.

The varsity learnt of the President’s decision when it was asked to call a meeting to nominate two new members for the search-cum-selection committee. Although the VC had been selected, there was no official announcement over it.


Justifying the act, the government said that the finalists lacked leadership qualities. In fact, this is also the first time a proposal of change in the appointee and scrapping of the earlier panel was received by the President’s office after the appointment of a candidate by the President.


Visva Bharati is the only Central university with the Prime Minister as its Chancellor. The institution was founded by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and its alumni list includes filmmaker Satyajit Ray and economist Amartya Sen.

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