VC Sanjay Deshmukh exists, but damage to MU already done
Decisions taken during his two-year tenure leaves varsity scrambling for solutions
Even as Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, the Vice-Chancellor of Mumbai University, was shown by the Governor over the examination mess on Tuesday, concerns are being raised over the irretrievable damage that has been caused by some of the decisions taken by him in his two-year tenure.
Although Deshmukh was removed on grounds of ‘gross negligence’, which finally led to the delay in declaration of results of over 4 lakh students, experts mourn the tremendous loss that some of his decisions have caused to the 160-year-old university’s reputation during his tenure. Some such failures of the university in various areas from academics to infrastructural development have been attributed to Deshmukh’s lack of vision.
The university today is functioning without the accreditation of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) after losing its previous accreditation on April 19.
“The university seems to have given up on the most important indicator of excellence due to the carelessness of the V-C. Even after losing its accreditation, no efforts are being taken to ensure that the process of application begins soon” said Sanjay Vairal, ex-senate member of the university.
With the V-C’s decision to change the service provider at the last minute that led to a delay in kick-starting admissions, the university’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) has got only close to 50,000 admissions until Wednesday evening, much lower as compared to that of 80,000 admissions in 2016. “The university has lost the revenue of close to Rs 20 crore due to a delay in kickstarting admissions to IDOL this year. Who is responsible for such a loss?” said Vaibhav Narawade, Secretary of the Mumbai University and College Teachers Association (MUCTA).
With Deshmukh’s exit, his Rs 3,000-crore plan for a total revamp of the university has also come to a standstill even as several buildings at its Kalina campus lie vacant. As per an RTI response to activist Anil Galgali, the university had to return an amount of Rs 2 crore sanctioned for the Dr Ramanohar Tripathi Hindi Bhasha Bhavan as it failed to use it in the prescribed time frame.
Another 7-storey building, which was proposed to be a cultural centre, is lying unused since the last three years.
Sanjay M Bhaire
(The author is Editor-In-Chief, Across States News)
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