Opposition to the appointment of Rajan Welukar as vice-chancellor of Mumbai University refuses to die down, with a section of the academic fraternity now citing information obtained through an RTI query to question the quality of the research work cited by him while applying for the post.
The curriculum vitae (CV) of Welukar and others short-listed for the post by the search committee, have been obtained through an RTI application filed by a Delhi-based activist.
The academicians, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that Welukar, who has listed around 12 research publications in the CV, has included two that were yet to be published at the time and a third that he was still working on.
The academicians have also alleged that four more research publications cited by Welukar cannot be considered publications.
A copy of Welukar’s CV is with the Hindustan Times. Despite repeated attempts, Welukar was unavailable for comment.
Welukar’s appointment has already been challenged in court.
Public Interest Litigations by different individuals have stated that Welukar does not have the requisite experience to be appointed as Vice-Chancellor and that his appointment was in “violation” of University Grants Commission guidelines.
According to the new regulations drawn up by the state in 2009, a Vice-Chancellor must have a minimum of five research publications in peer-reviewed/referred international research journals after getting a PhD.
The academicians alleged that Welukar had barely managed to fulfill this criterion.
“When you compare his [Welukar’s] CV with those of other candidates, the quality and quantity of his [Welukar’s] publications are far below. Also, if regulations say that a candidate should list only research publications, why has he listed problems submitted by him to journals as well as yet-to-be published works,” an academician asked.
Replying to a query posed by an academician, Brigitte Servatius, the editor-in-chief of the Pi Mu-Epsilon Journal, which Welukar has listed in his CV, said that Welukar had only posed a problem in the journal.
“Problems are edited by the problems’ editor, who will do a peer review, but publishing a problem is by nature not equivalent to publishing a paper,” Servatius said.