Bihar Govt Suspends Freezing Of University Bank Accounts Amid Standoff

Bihar Govt Suspends Freezing Of University Bank Accounts Amid Standoff

The state government had previously ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of all state universities, barring one, and withheld the salaries of the vice-chancellors for allegedly being absent at an education department meeting last month.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 05:45 PM IST
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Bihar Govt Suspends Freezing Of University Bank Accounts Amid Standoff | Representational Image

The Bihar government has put on hold its recent order to freeze bank accounts of state-run universities and asked authorities of the varsities to attend a review meeting convened by the education department on March 9.

The direction comes amid the ongoing standoff between the education department and the Raj Bhavan.

The state government had previously ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of all state universities, barring one, and withheld the salaries of the vice-chancellors for allegedly being absent at an education department meeting last month.

VCs of the state universities urged to attend March 9 review meeting

Earlier this month, the Raj Bhavan had also written to banks to overrule the education department order that had frozen the accounts of state-run universities, barring one.

Higher Education Department Deputy Director Deepak Kumar Singh on Wednesday urged all VCs of the state universities to attend the March 9 review meeting of the department.

The deputy director, in his letter, mentioned that the accounts of varsities will not be frozen till March 9.

Ahead of the scheduled meeting on Saturday, the Raj Bhavan appeared to have thrown a spanner in the works through a letter in which VCs were warned against leaving their stations without prior permission from the governor's office.

The governor is the chancellor of state universities.

Education department lodged police complaints against VCs

In a letter to all VCs, the governor's Principal Secretary Robert L Chongthu on Wednesday directed them "not to leave their universities' headquarters without taking permission from the competent authority (Governor's office)".

"Strict disciplinary action would be taken if instructions are violated," says the letter, a copy of which is with PTI.

The state education department had already lodged police complaints against VCs of those universities, who did not attend the department's review meeting held in the last week of February.

Clarification sought for absence from the meeting

Its earlier letter to all VCs, except the vice-chancellor of Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University, had sought clarification for their absence from the meeting to discuss pending examinations and other issues.

The letter had warned that if satisfactory replies were not received, FIRs would be lodged against the university authorities, and salaries of VCs would remain withheld.

Despite several attempts, Bihar Education Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary could not be reached for comment on the issue.

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