Calcutta University to await court order before D.Litt to Mamata Banerjee

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On October 25 CU vice chancellor Sonali Chakraborti announced the D.Lit to be conferred to Ms Banerjee for her contribution in the field of arts, literature and social work.

The Calcutta University on Thursday awarded West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee the Doctor of Letters degree during its convocation ceremony at the Nazrul Mancha auditorium. At the acceptance speech, Mamata said, "Intolerance is rising in the country". Life insurance has also been taken on all pilgrims by the State Government, " she added".

VC of North Bengal University has filed a PIL against the plans of Calcutta University.

According to the PIL, the decision of the syndicate and senate of the CU to confer the Trinamul Congress supremo with a D.Litt was arbitrary and lacks logic.

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In their petition, the petitioners have argued that Calcutta University is a state-funded institution and will suffer a "credibility loss" if it confers the degree upon the highest executive authority of the state.

The petitioner mentioned that conferring the degree to Banerjee will undermine the standard of the university and the prestige of the award.

"Now if a reporter writes something, utters certain words, an FIR is filed and cases are lodged", the chief minister said at a programme in Kolkata.

His counsel, Bikas Bhattacharya had yesterday submitted that the issues relating to the university and education itself were of public interest and as such the petition was justified to be a PIL. The government's argument that former chief ministers Jyoti Basu and Dr BC Roy, too, had received similar degrees from the university was incorrect, Mukhopadhyay said, as they had received their honorary degrees after stepping down from their position.

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