Two years after the position of pro-vice-chancellor fell vacant at the University of Mumbai, Naresh Chandra, principal of Birla College in Kalyan, was appointed to the post on Wednesday.
Governor of Maharashtra and Mumbai University chancellor K Sankaranarayanan stepped in to make the appointment. Chandra has previously served as Mumbai University pro-VC (from April 1997 to May 2000) and will take charge from Thursday.
Chandra’s term will either end along with the term of vice-chancellor Rajan Welukar, or once he turns 60 years old, whichever is first, said a press release from the governor’s office.
“I will try to do my best in this capacity,” said Chandra, after his appointment. The pro-VC is in charge of examinations, research, the appointment of teachers and any other duties the vice-chancellor may delegate to him. If the vice-chancellor is not there for some reason, the pro vice chancellor becomes the acting vice chancellor.
Chandra’s appointment comes soon after the government, last week, appointed S Deo to the newly created post of director of examinations and Kumar Khaire, additional collector of Pune, to the post of registrar.
The appointments come in the wake of criticism against the university for filling important posts with ad hoc officials and after a string of administrative blunders have plagued the university in the past few weeks. These have included an exam paper leak, centre allocation errors and delayed hall tickets.
“This appointment means a lot, now the administration of the university will be streamlined,” said RT Sane, former Ruia College principal and head of the Guru Nanak Institute of Research and Development. “There will be greater sharing of responsibility. Chandra has also been the pro vice chancellor in the past so he has administrative experience.”
The government had earlier said it was considering a proposal from the university to appoint four people to four separately created posts of pro vice chancellor. At a press conference on Monday, Welukar had said, “the posts will have to be created”.