THE STATE government on Wednesday removed former WBSSC chairman Subiresh Bhattacharya as vice chancellor of North Bengal University and Darjeeling Hill University, more than a week after the CBI arrested him in connection with the SSC recruitment scam.
The government appointed Jadavpur University professor Omprakash Mishra as interim vice-chancellor of both universities for three months until it appoints a regular vice-chancellor through a search committee.
On September 19, the CBI arrested Bhattacharya in connection with the SSC recruitment scam. Bhattacharya, who was chairman of the SSC from 2014 to 2018, was interrogated for nearly six hours by the bureau at the Nizam Palace office in Kolkata before being arrested.
Since then, political parties have been demanding removal of Bhattacharya from office.
Omprakash Mishra, former head of the International Relations Department at Jadavpur University, was previously a leader in Congress in the state. However, he joined the ruling Trinamool Congress in 2020.
Mishra said, “I am delighted to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of North Bengal University. It’s a special feeling because the place is my alma mater… I finished my graduation there.”
The 61-year-old has been engaged in teaching, research and research supervision at Jadavpur University in Kolkata since 1987. He joined the university as a lecturer in 1987 and became a reader in 1993 and has been a professor since 2001. He was the Head of the International Relations Department of the university (1994-1996) and the founder-coordinator of the Center for Refugee Studies. He again took over the position of head of the department in September 2018. He obtained 1st Class 1st position (Gold Medalist) in BA (Hons.) in Political Science from North Bengal University in 1982 and obtained CGPA equivalent to 1st Class in MA and M.Phil in International Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi in 1984 and 1986 respectively. He holds a PhD from Jadavpur University.
Mishra’s interests and expertise span many areas in political economy, international relations, foreign policy and national security. In August 2004, then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh out to serve the National Security Advisory Board. In November 2005, the University Grants Commission invited him to chair an Expert Committee on Universities and Public Policy. He was Pro Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, the largest university in the world in 2007-2010. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of Jadavpur University.