At 7 pm on Wednesday, 51-year-old Rajan Welukar, took charge as vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai.
After a nine-month wait, the governor of Maharashtra, K Sankaranarayanan, who is also the chancellor of universities, appointed the director of Sydenham Institute of Management and Research as the vice-chancellor.
The governor’s office said in a statement: “The appointment will come into effect from the date Welukar assumes the charge of the office of the vice chancellor and shall be for a term of five years. The chancellor had personal interaction with all the candidates shortlisted by the search committee headed by Ashok Kolaskar on Wednesday morning.”
A former vice-chancellor of the Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nasik, Welukar did his post graduation as well as his Ph.D in statistics from the Nagpur University.
He was also the deputy secretary (education) to the Governor of Maharashtra between March 2002 and October 2003. Before becoming the VC of YCMOU, Welukar had served as the senior programme officer and HRD lead officer to the Commonwealth Secretariat’s ‘Commonwealth Youth Programme, Asia Region’.
Excerpts from an interview with Hindustan Times:
What issues do you want to address immediately?
The first priority will be to declare exam results.
The results are delayed and we will have to find out the cause and look for an immediate solution.
Also, renewing the university’s NAAC accreditation would be my focus.
What is your vision for the university?
I can’t say anything particular now because I need to take charge and study the university and its functioning, but as an academician I can say there are gaps in the university regarding quality, research, manpower and governance. These gaps need to be identified and corrective measures need to be taken. It is a process that will take time.
Everything has to be student-centric.
The basic vision is to take the university to the next level.
The credit and semester system is still in limbo. When do you think it will be implemented?
The decision will be taken in the minimum possible time.
I have to look at what stage of approval it has reached and then will have to have to
have a dialogue with the stakeholders.
What about bifurcation?
The University of Mumbai has too many colleges under it and has become unwieldy.
This is a governance problem that needs to be looked into. I cannot comment on it because as of now I have an outsider’s view, I still need to take charge.
A little more about yourself…
Well I have been in the field of education for the last 25 years.
An alma mater of the Nagpur University, I did both my Msc and MPhil from there and passed out in 1983. I also did my Ph.D in statistics from there about nine years ago.