MU exam mess fallout: Governor sacks vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh
Ch Vidyasagar Rao removed Deshmukh for gross negligence and failing to comply with the directives issued by him to ensure timely declaration MU resultsmumbai Updated: Oct 25, 2017 00:23 IST
Following the unprecedented delay in declaring exam results this year, Sanjay Deshmukh became Mumbai university’s (MU) first vice-chancellor to be sacked from his post. Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao removed Deshmukh from the position on Tuesday for gross negligence and failing to comply with the directives issued by him to ensure timely declaration MU results.
It was at Deshmukh’s insistence that the MU adopted a system to assess exam papers online. But the system had glitches, leading to a massive delay in declaring results. Despite repeated reminders by the governor, who is also the chancellor of all universities in the state, Deshmukh failed to speed up the system. The government had to face embarrassment because it drew flak from the students and parents for the unprecedented delay in results. In this background, he was sent on indefinite leave by the government and it was expected that the VC would have to go.
A Raj Bhavan release said the governor removed Deshmukh for ‘his gross negligence and failure in implementing the On-Screen Marking (OSM) system, to declare the results of examinations held in summer 2017, within the time limit prescribed in the Act and for his failure to comply with the directions issued by the chancellor from time to time, regarding early declaration of results.’
This is the first time a V-C has been sacked.
In 1985, the then VC of the varsity, MS Gore, had to resign from the post following an alleged mark-sheet scandal in the MU. Gore was not alone, the then chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, too, had to resign over the controversy because his own daughter was involved in the scandal.
Deshmukh was already sent on indefinite leave by the governor in August. On September 24, he was also asked to resign from the position or face dismissal, but Deshmukh remained defiant. Rao recently sought the pinion of the state higher and technical education government on the mess, which further sealed Deshmukh’s fate, the sources said. An opinion was sought on explanations received from Deshmukh in response to a show-cause notice issued to him by the governor.
Accusing him of dereliction of duty, the governor, on August 1, had issued a show cause notice to Deshmukh asking him to explain the delay. The incumbent VC tried to explain his side in detail by sending two letters to the Raj Bhavan on August 14 and 21.
The governor had also sought a report from the state intelligence wing of the Maharashtra police following Deshmukh’s allegations of sabotage in the online assessment of answer papers, which according to him, resulted in a delay in declaring results. On September 21, HT had stated that a report prepared by senior IPS officer and state intelligence commissioner Sanjay Barve had ruled out any such possibility.
HT, on August 13, had reported how teh state government had opposed the idea of adopting OSM in one go and advised Deshmukh to introduce the system gradually in phases. However, Deshmukh went ahead with the same against the government’s advice.