Despite delays plaguing exam results, Mumbai University VC Sanjay Deshmukh proceeds on leave

Amid delays in declaration of board examination results, Maharashtra governor and Mumbai University chancellor C Vidyasagar Rao has granted leave sought by the varsity's vice-chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh.

Sanjay Deshmukh. Image courtesy:

Sanjay Deshmukh. Image courtesy:

The governor has accordingly given additional charge of the post of vice-chancellor to Devanand Shinde, who is currently the vice-chancellor of Shivaji University in Kolhapur, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

"Professor Shinde will serve as the acting vice-chancellor of the University of Mumbai during the leave period of Deshmukh," he said.

The governor also appointed Dhiren Patel, director of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), as the acting pro vice-chancellor of the university.

"Patel will look after the work of the university in addition to his own duties as the director of VJTI," the spokesperson said. Patel will hold the post of acting pro-VC till the completion of work of declaration of results of various exams held by the university in March and April this year or for a maximum period of three months, whichever is earlier, he said.

Meanwhile, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray reacted on Twitter to the development, saying the vice-chancellor was "forced" to go on leave, hinting that he may have been fired and not secured leave.

"It would only be wise to appoint an IAS/IPS officer as administrator to the university to streamline systems and reduce the chaos. What the varsity has done with the students this year is criminal — making them waste a year and money over post-graduation courses in India and abroad. The vice-chancellor has been sent on leave, officers have changed. But the chaos remains and the Cabinet minister still holds a portfolio with no regret," he claimed in a series of tweets.

He further alleged that the tender process, conducted three times, for online assessment was a "scam". "Who took the decision? Will it be scrapped? Many results are still undeclared, and marksheets will take 10 more days. The Cabinet minister needs to come clean on this chaos," Thackeray added.

Sources said that Deshmukh might be asked to step down from his position. He has already missed the two first deadlines for declaring board exam results, on 31 July and 5 August. The third revised deadline is for 15 August.

The decision comes after several student groups had been demanding Dekhmukh's ouster, which was also backed by political parties. The failure of the online assessment system and subsequent delays in declaration of more than four lakh students' results have put the varsity's reputation under a cloud, it was alleged.

Sources in the government have said Deshmukh would be on leave "until further notice".

In April 2017, Deshmukh had announced that over 19 lakh answer sheets would be assessed online but the institution was quite ill-prepared for such an exercise. Usually the university announces the results of graduation and post-graduation examinations within 45 days of the last paper.

Even after Governor Rao intervened and fixed deadlines for the results to be announced, the university failed to adhere to them.

Deshmukh had taken charge as vice-chancellor of the institution on 8 July, 2015. His tenure has been far from impressive and he has has even managed to get mired in political controversies.

Mahesh Vijapurkar in his piece on Firstpost said, "The expectation was that Deshmukh would work to raise the stature of the university long eroded. His academic brilliance achieved early in his career was cited as one reason why the Mumbai University could hope for a retrieval of its past academic glory. At this moment, its reputation is in tatters and the academic world had pinned some hopes on him. Now, the same community is rightly upset for he justified his visit to Raj Thackeray, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief, for 'inputs' to improve the university. Thackeray may be anything, but he is not an educationist."

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Aug 09, 2017 21:50 PM

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