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In the hunt for WBUHS VC, Partha Chatterjee's appointment to search committee draws flak

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 13 October 2017, 20:50 IST
(Saikat Paul/Pacific Press/ LightRocket/Getty Images)

The West Bengal government’s decision to appoint state education minister Partha Chatterjee as a member of the search committee of West Bengal University of Health Sciences (WBUHS) to appoint a Vice Chancellor has triggered widespread resentment inside the state health department.

The post of VC of WBUHS, to which all state-run medical colleges are affiliated, has been lying vacant for the last two months.

Sources in the state government say that questions are being asked as to how a minister can be appointed as a member of the search committee when the university is an autonomous body. According to critics, representatives from the medical fraternity should have been included instead of him.

The other members of the search committee include West Bengal Medical Council chairman Nirmal Maji, principal secretary health Anil Verma and director of health services Dr Biswaranjan Satpathi.

A senior official of the state health department said, “We have urged the chancellor, as well as the state government, to appoint a doctor in the search committee but we have not yet received any official communication from them.”

Sources in the state government say that when Dr Bhabtosh Biswas, who recently retired, was appointed VC of WBUHS University, the search committee comprised of members from the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Among the members of the search committee was Dr Srinath Reddy, the head of the department of cardiology at AIIMS.

More so, before Biswas, to appoint previous VC Amit Banerjee, the search committee comprised doctors from PGIMER Chandigarh.

When Catch spoke to Partha Chatterjee, he said he hasn't been informed about the appointment and that he will be speaking to the concerned authorities.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh has already criticised the move, saying that Chatterjee was picked so that he can select his own candidate for the post.

First published: 13 October 2017, 20:50 IST
 
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