EDUCATION & CONFUSION: SMC to keep tabs on private hostels

EDUCATION & CONFUSION: SMC to keep tabs on private hostels – all private hostels to require registration and license, even people who keep paying guests, tall order ?!!

A private hostel on Sevoke Road in Siliguri - now to only distinguish those with paying guest family houses, tough enough ?!! (Kundan Yolmo)

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Siliguri, Sept. 1: The recent incident of ragging at a private hostel here has prompted the Siliguri Municipal Corporation to make it mandatory for all hostel owners to get their establishments registered with the civic body so that it can keep regular tabs on them.

“We have hardly any details of the private hostels in the SMC area. Mayor Gangotri Dutta held a meeting recently where it was decided to make it mandatory for all hostel owners to get their establishments registered with us. They should also procure licences from the civic body,” said Seema Saha, member, mayor-in-council for trade licences and self-employment.

Recently, Riju Ghosh, a first-year student of Siliguri Institute of Technology, was compelled to leave a private accommodation in Pradhannagar and return to his hometown in Bankura following alleged “physical and mental torture” by two senior students residing in the same establishment.

Riju’s father had lodged an FIR against Kaushik Chakraborty and Aritra Bhattacharya at the Pradhannagar police station. The former is a second-year BCA student of SIT and the latter a second-year electrical engineering student at Surendra Institute of Engineering and Management. (SIEM).

There are around 50 private hostels in the 47 wards under the SMC to accommodate out-station candidates who come to Siliguri for work or education.

Both SIT and SIEM, the two engineering colleges in Siliguri, do not have on-campus hostels. “We will soon call a meeting of the councillors who will be asked to conduct a survey of their wards to find out the exact number of hostels. We will ask the owners to submit relevant documents of their establishments along with the details of those who stay there and a photocopy of their identity cards and purpose of their stay. This will help us keep regular tabs on these hostels,” said Saha.

The authorities of educational institutions have appreciated the initiative of the civic body.

“We have two private hostels, one for girls and another for boys, authorised by the college that are regularly monitored. But we cannot force all students to stay in them and some of them stay in private accommodations making it difficult for us to keep tabs on their activities after college. It is a good move by the SMC to have the private hostels registered,” said Sumanta Nag, a faculty member of SIEM.

Varsity protest threat – “important items” not disclosed nor clarified ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Siliguri, Sept. 1: The teachers’ body of North Bengal University has asked the vice-chancellor to clarify within seven days why he did not include some “important items” in the Executive Council meeting on August 20.

The North Bengal University Teachers’ Council has also threatened to start an agitation against Arunabha Basumajumdar’s “undemocratic behaviour” if he fails to clarify the issue in a meeting.

“On August 30, we submitted a memorandum to the vice-chancellor demanding that he give us a date within seven days for an open meeting, failing which we will launch an agitation against his undemocratic behaviour,” said Saptarshi Ghosh, the teachers’ council secretary, today. “He has been whimsically choosing items to be discussed in the EC and the NBU Court meetings. He had rejected the six important items that some EC members had wanted to be included in the agenda for the August 20 meeting. We demand that he clarify why he did not do it.”

Citing an instance, Ghosh said the vice-chancellor had arbitrarily constituted the committee for Internal Quality and Assurance Cell without consulting the Faculty Council. “The cell is an important committee and according to the rules it should be constituted in consultation with the Faculty Council. But we were never consulted,” he said.

On August 20, 15 EC members had complained to governor M.K. Narayanan, the university chancellor, that they felt insulted when Basumajumdar refused to clarify why the six items had been left out.

Basumajumdar had countered the allegation saying that some EC members had used filthy language during the meeting.

Jeta Sankrityayana, the dean of arts, commerce and law, and an EC member, said: “We are teachers and can never use filthy or unruly language. The allegations levelled by the vice-chancellor is false and insulting.”

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