No intention to indulge in blame game, do self-introspection: Visva-Bharati VC on NIRF ranking

Kolkata, Jun 30 (PTI) Visva-Bharati Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty has said in an open letter that he has no intention to indulge in blame game over the slipping of the central university in NIRF ranking.

Instead he wants to make every stakeholder feel integrated with the varsity and do self-introspection, the letter which was made available to the media on Tuesday said.

In the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking released recently, the Visva-Bharati had slid from its earlier 37th position to 50th.

In his first open letter, issued on June 19 after the NIRF ranking was released, Chakraborty had said, 'Visva Bharati is the proverbial goose that lays golden eggs for everybody - students, teachers, the local businessmen, the toto (e-rickshaw) drivers, the journalists and other stakeholders. What is required is to take care of the goose instead of contributing to its slow demise.' Even as his comments triggered protests among a section of students and faculty who blamed him for passing the buck to absolve himself, Chakraborty said in this letter, 'my last letter was neither an act of defending myself nor evading my responsibility as VC.' The second open letter, written in Bengali, was issued two days back for the varsity 'family'.

'I wish to point out how Visva-Bharati is part of our total existence....I wish everyone to self introspect....it is imperative to see whether we are able to put in practice the ideals and realise the vision of Kabiguru Rabindanath Tagore in our activities,' the academician said in this letter.

Mentioning that Visva-Bharati is not like other universities and has its uniqueness, Chakraborty said, 'It has a prayer hall, it follows annual rituals like halkarshan (celebrating the first day of farming), pous utsav, maghotsav, Basantotsab, birthday celebration of Tagore on 'Pochise Boisakh', tree plantation.

'Now let me ask a straight question - of the 15,000 members of Visva-Bharati family (including faculty, non- teaching staff, students etc), how many of us take part in these occasions? Even how many ashramites and former students do turn up in the varsity campus on these days? 'The unfortunate truth will tumble out if we undertake an honest assessment, if we self-introspect,' the VC said.

Pointing out that 46 lapses, committed by some functionaries, had been mentioned in the 2019 audit report of the university, he claimed that the number of such complaints had come down to 22 till now this year and 'will be reduced to 19 by 2021,' as part of corrective steps.

'To set right the perception about the university among outsiders, we need to collectively address the deviation of the varsity from its established principles,' the VC said.

The 'perception' about Visva-Bharati among the public was one of the main reasons for the varsity's NIRF ranking this year, Chakraborty said.

'If we take corrective measures in this regard, we will do much better (in ranking) as Visva-Bharati had done well in other parameters,' he said.

Chakraborty said, the objective of his open letters was 'to immediately bring the problems, plaguing the university, before others to stem any further slide.' There should not be any negativity, he said. PTI SUS MM MM