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Tough test for new V-C: He will have to sort out Mumbai university exam mess

Results of exams held between November 2017 and January 2018 are still pending

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2018 11:52 IST
Mumbai,university,vice-chancellor
Important posts, including that of pro V-C, registrar, director of examinations and evaluation and director of academic planning and development have been vacant since August 2015(FILE)

While college principals and academicians gave a thumbs-up to the appointment of Suhas Pednekar, principal of Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College, as the vice-chancellor of University of Mumbai (MU), they said exams would prove to be his real test.

The results for examinations held between March and May 2017 were announced by November 2017, while results for exams conducted between November 2017 and January 2018 are still pending. As the vice-chancellor, Pednekar will have to streamline the working of the examination department, clearing the mess that has plagued the university over the past one year.

Experts said the university needed someone with administrative as well as academic knowledge like Pednekar. “After the chaos that ensued owing to the errors committed by the former vice-chancellor, the decision to appoint Pednekar as the new V-C is a welcome move. The new V-C will have to face several challenges. Considering the current situation, bringing the examination and result schedule back on track will be a priority,” said Bhalchandra Mungekar, former V-C of MU. “As the principal of a college, Pednekar is well-versed with the problems on ground level. He seems to be the right choice to bring about positive changes.”

Important posts, including that of pro V-C, registrar, director of examinations and evaluation and director of academic planning and development have been vacant since August 2015. Filling up these posts will be important for Pednekar. “All V-C hopefuls were asked to give a presentation on their plan of action for betterment of the university, and one of the main responsibilities also included filling up vacant posts. This will complete his team who can then implement all his policies,” said a senior official from the university, on condition of anonymity.

Pednekar will also have to focus on improving the battered image of the university on national and global level. Many members of the senate had recently questioned the dismal performance of MU in the National Institute Ranking Framework (NIRF) for second year in a row.

“Principals will unanimously stand by the new V-C, knowing that he can bring in positive changes in the system. He is part of our fraternity and has an excellent academic and research record. All this will help better the image of the university,” said Naresh Chandra, principal of Birla College in Kalyan and former pro vice-chancellor of MU.

RUIA COLLEGE STUDENTS, ALUMNI CELEBRATE

Students and alumni of Ramnarain Ruia Autonomous College on Friday celebrated the appointment of their college principal Suhas Pednekar as the new vice-chancellor of University of Mumbai. Some even took to social media to share their joy, with hash tags like #prideruiaite and #oncearuiaitealwaysaruiaite on Twitter and Facebook.

“Proud moment for a student whose then Chemistry Professor has been announced to be a Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University! No words to express the moment of Happiness,” tweeted an alumnus. Many students recollected their experience with Dr Pednekar. “Five years and a very happening life this college and principal Pednekar gave me in such a way that Ruia became a way of life,” posted another student.

Many used Facebook to share their experience with their principal, who has also served as a professor of chemistry at the college for many years. “His oratory skills and knowledge of the subject still stay with me, 15 years later. I wish him all the best as he takes over this important post at MU,” tweeted another alumnus.

Teachers too shared their pride at being mentored by Pednekar. “His constant support and encouragement has seen batches of students pass out of Ruia College with flying colours. Always supportive of the staff too, congratulations sir,” tweeted a teacher of the college. Some also posted pictures of the new vice-chancellor on Facebook.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 11:52 IST