Sukanta Chaudhuri quits Presidency’s Mentor Group
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The JU prof disagreed with the special privileges being doled out to university teachers.
Sukanta Chaudhuri, a renowned Professor of English at Jadvapur University, has resigned from the Presidency University Mentor Group — in what is seen as a setback to the fledgling university's search for excellence.
Chaudhuri, when contacted, said: "Difference of opinion cropped up among various members of the Mentor Group and so I have tendered my resignation." He refused to elaborate.
"The widening gap between what is proposed for Presidency University and what other state universities including centres of excellence are getting has led me to resign," Chaudhuri has reportedly written in his resignation letter.
The resignation has created a stir in academic circles with a section feeling that Chaudhuri has opted out, as his opinion was not respected by the other nine members of the Mentor Group.
Officials in the education department said Chaudhuri disagreed with other Mentor Group members over the special privileges being doled out to the university teachers. According to him, there were many talented teachers in other Universities who were being paid at UGC scales. If Presidency teachers are being given special pay and privilege it will create a discriminatory policy, he is said to have felt.
Chaudhuri reportedly also had reservations about awarding rewards. Rewards, he felt, should be strictly based on performance.
He reportedly had no objection if additional pay packets were announced, like in institutions such as the IITs or IIMs, but did not see any reason in the government identifying an institute as a centre of excellence even before it has performed.
This, Chaudhuri is said to have felt, will make universities like Jadavpur, which have worked hard to become one of the top 10 universities in the country, feel let down. If teachers in the new university get a pay scale at par with other state universities, there is no reason why the university should get the privileges and additional funds that others have been denied despite their good performance, he reportedly wondered. Chaudhuri felt the government's decision went against natural justice.
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