B.Ed. STUDENTS LEFT IN THE LURCH AFTER SEAT-FOR-MONEY MUCK

Alleging a seat-for-money scam, Rattan Lal Hangloo, the Vice Chancellor of the Kalyani University as well as an internationally acclaimed historian, has reported that “The rule is for 100 students, but they (Bhaktabala B.Ed. College) have taken more. This means somebody has taken money and given admissions. We have sent a report to the state government seeking a probe”.

 Several students have alleged that it is Tanmoy Acharya, the General Secretary of the Students’ Union (run by Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad) at the university has taken money, assuring them of admission to the college.

 The institute, which has been de-affiliated following the scandal, is one of the 40 B.Ed. colleges Kalyani University has given affiliation to in the 2013-14 academic year. In the past three years, Calcutta University has given affiliation to 12 private B.Ed colleges and Vidyasagar University, to 8. This points out to the manner in which they have mushroomed and got affiliation from universities leaves room for questions. In a job-starved state like ours where all scope of industrialization have been halted since the last 3 years, establishment of B.Ed. colleges have turned out to be a very profitable business, and no checking of their qualities and affiliation have resulted in their mushrooming up all over the state. 

 The issue came to the fore with the unfolding of the cash-for-seats scam at Bhaktabala B.Ed. College in Nadia’s Chapra, where 39 students were admitted beyond the sanctioned strength of 100 allegedly against payment of amounts ranging between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1.7 lakh.The cat tumbled out of the bag when the 39 students did not get registration from Kalyani University to appear for the final exam, scheduled for July 7.

 That basic academic discipline was not maintained in the Chapra institute became clear when this correspondent found during a visit to the campus that the college authorities were not even maintaining a students’ attendance register. This points out at the callous attitude of the Education department.

 Comments of Amar Biswas, the secretary of the Bhaktabala B.Ed College governing body, makes it clear that alleged political intervention plays a key role in the affiliation process. “Tanmoy Acharya had threatened me that if excess students were not admitted to my college, getting affiliation could get uncertain. I got scared following his clout at the university and admitted 39 students beyond the sanctioned strength,” Biswas had told a newspaper.

 Amar Biswas also added that the VC have directed the students to file a written complaint and detail all who have extorted money from them. Reacting to the allegations against Tanmoy Acharya, Trinamool Congress Secretary- General and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said a probe has been ordered. "I have ordered a probe but as the secretary general and not as the education minister. If something wrong is found, suitable action will be taken," Chatterjee said.

 “We have told the education minister that the Kalyani University Vice Chancellor Rattan Lal Hangloo, and other officials in league with the CPI(M) have hatched a conspiracy to defame the Trinamool and the state government and our union,” said the shameless state TMCP president Shanku Dev Panda.

 The state government formed a one-member probe panel to look into the allegations, even as the ruling Trinamool Congress’s student wing accused a varsity vice chancellor of “hatching a conspiracy”.Jadavpur University Vice Chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti will head the committee which is likely to submit its report within a week regarding the irregularities committed in the admission process in the Bhaktabala B.Ed. College of Nadia district.

 “Our dreams to get a job have been shattered. We borrowed money from private parties at a high monthly interest to pay the union office-bearer. We don’t know how to pay back the loan”, repented Apurba Biswas, a B.Ed. aspirant. Such has been the distraught of the aspirants. SFI strongly demand that the culprits who have extorted money shall be awarded exemplary punishments, as well as those who have overlooked the issue for a year and is responsible for this miserable plight of the 39 students.