Visva-Bharati postpones annual convocation citing students’ agitation

KOLKATA:Visva-Bharati on Thursday announced the postponement of its annual convocation, scheduled to be held on December 11, till further notice due to the ongoing agitation by a section of students near the residence of Vice-Chancellor Prof Bidyut Chakrabarty The central university spokesperson said in a statement that the authorities are forced to take the step as the VC is “not being allowed to venture out of his residence for more than two weeks and monitor the preparations”.
“Under these circumstances, the forthcoming convocation to be held on December 11 stands postponed till further orders,” the statement said.
When contacted by PTI, the spokesperson said it was not feasible to continue preparations for the prestigious and important event in the central university as a section of students have been holding a sit-in near the official residence of the VC.
The decision was also prompted by a rally taken out by some students on the campus on Wednesday evening, which was unruly, she said.
The students had been demonstrating around 100 metres away from the residence of the VC since November 24, demanding outstation students be allotted hostel rooms immediately, and the thesis of PhD and M Phil scholars be evaluated in a time-bound manner.
The VC was not allowed to leave his residence on December 6 when he was about to take the car to discharge official responsibilities as the protesting students sat before his vehicle forcing Chakraborty to return to his room.
A rally was organised on the campus on Wednesday by a section of students to press for the demands, which include holding the annual ‘Poush Mela’ which could not be held in the last two years due to Covid.
Visva-Bharati University Faculty Association office-bearer Sudipta Bhattacharya said, “The authorities want to show the students in a bad light by announcing the postponement of the convocation which has not even been officially notified by the central university.”