Orders to freeze bank accounts of varsities in Bihar revoked


PTI, Jun 13, 2024, 12:12 PM IST

Patna: The Bihar Education Department withdrew its controversial orders freezing the bank accounts of most of the state universities and withholding salaries of vice-chancellors and other officials for failure to comply with its directions.

The department’s move came in the backdrop of recent Patna High Court orders in this regard.

In a missive to VCs of all state-run universities on Wednesday, Baidya Nath Yadav, Secretary (Education department), said, “The department has decided to withdraw its earlier orders of freezing accounts of various state-run universities… following the recent orders of the Patna High Court.” The high court last month directed the department to take “no coercive action” against state universities and its officials till further order while directing that withholding salary of officials and freezing accounts of varsities “be kept in abeyance”.

The education department in March had ordered freezing of the bank accounts of all the state-run universities, barring one, and withheld salaries of their vice-chancellors for allegedly remaining absent in a review meeting convened by the department in the last week of February this year.

The department had issued letters to all VCs barring Kameshwar Singh of Darbhanga Sanskrit University, asking them to clarify why they did not attend the meeting to discuss the status of pending examinations and other issues.

In a related development, Bihar Governor Rajendra V Arlekar on Wednesday reminded the state education department that it was duty-bound to provide “adequate funds” to state universities.

The governor, who is also chancellor of state-run varsities, said this at a meeting in presence of Education Minister Sunil Kumar, who expressed hope that “team spirit” would bring about the much-needed improvement in higher learning.

According to a statement issued by the Raj Bhavan on Wednesday, the governor also directed VCs to prepare a road map for the academic development in the respective universities and the latter should also work hard to develop their institutions as centres of excellence.

The governor said that there should be separate deans in all universities, one for academics and another for research, said the statement.

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