VC accused of unfair upgrades, promoting caste disparity - Hindustan Times
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VC accused of unfair upgrades, promoting caste disparity

Sep 08, 2022 12:26 AM IST

In their letter, two officials—Deepak Wasave and Krishna Parad -- have alleged that the VC has “misused” his power to appoint people for senior administrative posts

Mumbai: Just as he is poised to hang up his boots, the vice chancellor (VC) of University of Mumbai, Suhas Pednekar, is faced with a litany of complaints from senior varsity officials. Pednekar has been accused of appointing staff for important posts disregarding mandated rules and regulations.

Vice chancellor (VC) of University of Mumbai, Suhas Pednekar (Hindustan Times)
Vice chancellor (VC) of University of Mumbai, Suhas Pednekar (Hindustan Times)

In their letter, two officials—Deepak Wasave and Krishna Parad -- have alleged that the VC has “misused” his power to appoint people for senior administrative posts like that of the registrar, director of board of examination and evaluation (BoEE) as well as finance and accounts officer without following an existing government resolution (GR) of March 2013.

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“As per the state government decision dated March 15, 2013, in case of a situation where (such) posts in any state university fall vacant, the charge is to be assigned on temporary basis to the senior most qualified deputy registrar,” states the letter. It further states that both Wasave and Parad, who belong to the scheduled tribe (ST) section, were ignored for elevation into the higher office. By overriding the government laid rules and hiring someone junior instead of them, VC Pednekar has “created a feeling of caste discrimination”, the letter underscored.

Repeated calls and texts to Pednekar went unanswered.

With Pednekar’s retirement on September 10, posts of pro-VC and academic deans dissolve automatically at once. To make matters worse, the current registrar of the university, Sudhir Puranik, is on a long leave due to health concerns, whereas Vinod Patil, who held the post of director BoEE, has resigned, leaving the university without any option to name anyone for interim charge.

Meanwhile, Pednekar has named Shailendra Deolankar as the registrar in-charge and director BoEE, which senior officials have called unfair.

“In the last few years, the post of director BoEE and registrar has been handed over to several people despite knowing that they are not qualified or senior enough to take over the post. Not only does this decision by the VC look like purposeful casteism, but also insults the state government decision from 2013,” highlights the letter.

In January 2021, Pednekar drew flak from several officials for not allowing Ramdas Atram, the former director of Institute of Science, Nagpur, to take over as the registrar of University of Mumbai, despite a government order. On the day Atram was to officially take charge as the registrar, Pednekar had allegedly asked him to return to his post in Nagpur as he had already approached the state government seeking their permission to allow the then in-charge registrar, Baliram Gaikwad, to continue in the post.

“Following several such instances, we have now decided to file a legal complaint against such injustice before the appropriate higher authorities of the state government as well as judiciary. If no action is taken to reverse this injustice, we have no option but to file an official legal complaint in this matter,” the letter has highlighted.

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