The Executive Council of Jadavpur University on Saturday decided to cancel the special convocation scheduled on December 24, amid students’ bodies’ threat to boycott Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and show black flags to him. Following the cancellation of the programme, to be addressed by the Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the university, Dhankhar expressed his disappointment.
However, the university’s annual convocation, which does not require the Chancellor’s presence, will be held on December 24.
After a meeting, a statement published by the Council said, “The special court meeting will be held on Monday at 2 pm. The meeting will focus on the degrees to be conferred at the annual convocation, which will be held on December 24. The special convocation has been postponed.”
Expressing dismay over the decision, Dhankhar said no decision about convocation can be taken without the approval of the Chancellor.
“The University Act makes Chancellor the head of university who presides over meetings of the Court, which is the highest (decision-making) body of JU. The EC cannot take a decision (to put convocation on hold) without the approval of the chancellor,” he said.
During a special convocation, the Doctorate of Literature (DLit) and Doctorate of Science (DSc) are honoured and the first rank holder from each faculty is felicitated. The others are given their degrees during the annual convocation. The Chancellor remains present only during special convocation.
Vice-chancellor of Jadavpur University Suranjan Das had earlier said, “I’ve received representations from many students’ organisations stating that they would boycott the convocation if the Governor attended it. Students are a major stakeholder and I don’t want another untoward incident on the campus.”
A University official said, “A low-key convocation might be organised later without the special convocation, in which honoris causa degrees are conferred to celebrated individuals.”
A section of students earlier have declared that they will not accept their degrees from the Chancellor. The students have submitted a letter to the administration and urged them not to call the Governor for the convocation this year. According to students’ organisations that, Dhankhar supported CAA and NRC. That’s why those organisations are against the idea of the Governor being present in the convocation.