On Tuesday, when the University of Mumbai (MU) holds its bi-annual senate meeting, the issue of appointment of principals and professors who are not qualified to hold the post is expected to dominate discussions.
On March 9, HT reported that replies to a Right to Information (RTI) query revealed that principals of 35 of the 183 aided colleges appointed from April 2012 to April 2015 lack qualification and are, hence, ineligible for their posts.
Sanjay Vairal, senate member, MU said, “It is unfortunate that the eligibility criteria for appointing principals, professors and members of boards of studies are hardly followed. It has affected the quality of education at the varsity.”
The senate meeting, scheduled at the Fort campus’s convocation hall, will be last senate meeting of vice chancellor (VC) Rajan Welukar term will end in July. This will also be the last meeting for the current senate as well. Included in the meeting’s agenda is the budget for the academic year 2015-16. Last year, senate members approved Rs 427.11 crore budget. This year, university officials said the allocation might increase to Rs 450 crore.
Senate members are also expected to raise questions over the issues discussed, including filling up vacancies of teaching posts. "Steps towards filling vacant teaching posts have not been taken. Also, some colleges charge higher fees than approved. The administration should take strict action against them," said Mahadev Jagtap, a member of the senate.
Close to 300 colleges affiliated to MU don't have permanent principals while more than 250 teaching posts across departments are lying vacant, according to figures sourced from the university.
Senate member, Sudhakar Tamboli, who represents the Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena,said, “Several colleges have not completed their fire safety audit yet. We will demand an immediate action against these colleges.”
MA Khan, registrar, MU said, “The important agenda for the meeting is to pass an annual budget. If required, the senate meeting will also be held on March 25.”
Issues on agenda for March 24 senate meeting:
* Passing of the annual budget for the academic year 2015-16
* Issue of ineligible principals and teachers
* Appointment of permanent doctors and need of an ambulance at the health centre, in the university’s Kalina campus
* Removal of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited, the agency contracted to conduct the online admission and examination process, owing to alleged failure in work
* Fire safety audit in colleges
* More employees needed in examination department and vacant posts of professors
* The nomination of Satish Wate, director of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, for being a part of the search committee in the selection of the new vice-chancellor has been opposed to by few senate members, which will also be discussed at the meeting, said a member of the senate requesting anonymity.
* Also, few senate members will demand the VC to return the money spent by the varsity (Rs. 12.11 lakh as per the data revealed through RTI query) while defending him for his appointment at Bombay high court and Supreme Court