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Mumbai college is satellite educational centre for Sindhudurg, to offer 2 courses

By Priyanka Sahoo, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON SEP 30, 2020 12:07 AM IST

Patkar-Varde College in Goregaon has become the first satellite education centre for the University of Mumbai. On Friday, the state government approved Sir Sitaram and Lady Shantabai Patkar College and VP Varde College of Commerce and Economics, also known as Patkar-Varde College as the satellite centre for Sindhudurg on a pilot basis.

The college can now offer a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in hospitality, catering services and tourism, and Master in tourism and travel management at Kudal. The centre will commence the courses from the academic year 2020-21.

The satellite centre has been approved for Pinguli village, which falls within the Mumbai circle, said an official from the state higher and technical education department.

The concept of the satellite centre was conceived in the amended Maharashtra Public University Act (MPUA), 2016, as an educational centre that will promote academic curricular and research work in rural Maharashtra. However, this is the first time the state has approved a satellite centre.

However, the University of Mumbai senate member Mandar Sawantdesai has alleged that due process was not followed in the appointment of the college as a satellite centre.

“Neither the state government’s department of higher and technical education nor the university had published any advertisement inviting applications for starting satellite centre on a pilot basis,” said Sawantdesai. He has written to the governor and chancellor of universities Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Mumbai University vice-chancellor Suhas Pednekar, highlighting discrepancies.

Sawantdesai said that under the section 109(4)(d) of MPUA, 2016, the government may grant permissions only to such institutes as it may consider fit and proper in its absolute discretion on or before 15th June. However, in exceptional cases and for reasons to be recorded in writing any application not recommended by the university may be approved by the state government.

“Has the government recorded any such reasons while approving the above-said pilot project to the said college?,” asked Sawantdesai.

Gurunath Pandit, joint secretary, Patkar-Varde college management, said, “We have been following the matter with the government since the MPUA was amended in 2016, but it is only now that the centre has come to fruition. Sindhudurg is a tourism hotspot and we realised that courses in that area will help students from the region. We have good existing infrastructure that we can use for the purpose.” The courses will begin as soon as Covid-19 circumstances improve, he added.

An official of the University of Mumbai, on the condition of anonymity, maintained that the selection of the college was done following the guidelines laid down by the state higher and technical education department in a government resolution issued on September 18.

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