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Featured Image: A file photo of Sushanta Dattagupta. 

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 01 October: VICE-CHANCELLOR of Visva Bharati university in Santiniketan Sushanta Dattagupta has resigned amidst a recommendation pending before the President Pranab Mukherjee for his removal over alleged official misconduct.

Duttagupta told the Newsmen over phone on Thursday morning that he has mailed his resignation to the President on Wednesday and was still awaiting a response.

“The atmosphere in Visva-Bharati has drastically deteriorated in the past one year and it became really difficult to carry out the functions of the V-C. I had joined the varsity to carry forward scholarly activities and not because I wanted to be in a chair of authority. Hence, I have mailed my resignation to the President,” he said.

“I remained the V-C for four years and not many of my predecessors were able to continue for this long. But I cannot go into the nitty-gritty of all that I have mentioned in my resignation at this point in time as I am still awaiting a response from the President. In the meantime, I have relocated to Kolkata,” Duttagupta added.

Dattagupta had become the V-C of Visva-Bharati in 2011 and still had a year left in his tenure.

The HRD ministry last week sent a recommendation to the President, after a three-member panel appointed by the ministry found him guilty of official misconduct. The President referred the matter to the law ministry to verify its legal validity.

The panel that was appointed by the ministry included retired Justice Sakharam Singh Yadav of Allahabad High Court, B B Datta, chairman of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture (Shillong) and Dilip K Chakrabarti, professor of South Asian Archaeology, University of Cambridge, and a member of Indian Council of Historical Research.

It submitted the report to the HRD ministry on 27 March, indicting Duttagupta on four counts:

He continued to draw salary from Visva-Bharati, along with pension from Jawaharlal Nehru University, without getting his pension deducted from his pay in gross violation of the university laws.

Duttagupta made 25 irregular/illegal appointments. In most cases, the candidates appointed did not meet the eligibility criteria prescribed by University Grants Commission.

He approved payment of Rs 5 lakh as honorarium to an inquiry officer even though the government has fixed a maximum amount of Rs 75,000 that can be paid for conducting a departmental inquiry.

Also, Duttagupta got his bills for alcoholic beverages reimbursed by the university.

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