Mumbai, Oct 25 (IANS) A day after the unprecedented sacking of Mumbai University Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Education Minister Vinod Tawde over the issue.
Ruling ally Shiv Sena’s youth leader Aditya Thackeray has also attacked the state government and sought to know how it would compensate the thousands of students for their career losses.
NCP state spokesperson Nawab Malik said mere dismissal of the VC was not a sufficient move and Tawde should be held responsible for the mess and sacked from the state cabinet by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
“The state government has recently taken a decision to link the pay hikes of teachers to the performance of the students. The same principle should be applied to the university and the Education Minister should asked to quit for the mess,” Malik pointed out.
“Now that the VC has been sacked, the state government shouldn’t repeat the mistake again. The government needs to put its act together and a deserving person should be elevated to the post,” Aditya Thackeray urged.
He also spoke out for thousands of students who have suffered huge career losses on account of grossly delayed exam results, non-declaration of results, lost answer sheets, haphazard marks given to students in which many who failed were later found to have passed, and other problems which have traumatised the students and their parents.
“What the government has in minds for (these) students who have lost a year. They have gone through a tremendous mental stress over the past few months… How does the government plan to compensate them,” he asked, and alleged that the controversial decision to push through the online marking system could be a “scam”.
Meanwhile, late on Wednesday evening, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao announced that eminent space scientist and former ISRO Chairman (Dr.) K. Kasturirangan would head a new Search Committee to select a new VC for the country’s premier and globally renowned university.
A recipient of all the three top civilian Padma awards, Kasturirangan is a former alumnus of University of Mumbai, a former Chancellor of JNU, ex-member of Rajya Sabha and Planning Commission, besides heading the Indian Space Research Organisation for nearly 10 years (1994-2003), and currently chairing the committee to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy.
In an unprecedented step in the 160-year-old history of University of Mumbai, its Chancellor and state Governor Rao on Tuesday summarily sacked the VC Deshmukh amidst a massive fiasco over results of Summer 2017 examinations delayed by several months.
The dismissed VC was accused of “gross negligence and failure in implementing the On Screen Marking System”, to declare the results of the examinations within the time-limits prescribed in the Act – within 30 days and in no case beyond 45 days.
Warned several times in the past by the Governor, Deshmukh, 52, was found responsible “for his failure to comply with the directions issued by the Chancellor from time to time”, regarding timely declaration of the examination results of nearly 400,000 students.
The massive delays in the declaration of results — many of which are still pending – have derailed the careers of thousands of students seeking admission to higher courses, to foreign universities, or appearing for various competitive examinations, besides causing great mental agony to them, their parents and other stakeholders.
The Governor’s move terminating Deshmukh’s service has been widely welcomed in political circles, by university teachers and students and the parent community.
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