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Demand for pro V-C heats up at Pune University

With last few heads failing to complete term, senior professors at UoP want regular deputy vice-chancellor

Even as acting vice-chancellor of the University of Pune (UoP) Sanjay Chahande has recently taken over and asked for some time to get used to the working of the university, discontent seems to be brewing among the senior staff members.

Fed up of the consecutive cycle of vice-chancellor moving in and out, with not one having ever completed his term of five years in the past five decades, senior professors are now demanding the appointment of a regular pro V-C who can take over university matters in times of crisis. After last V-C R K Shevgaonkar's sudden announcement that he was resigning, the university was left headless.

"To fill up the void, Chahande was appointed, but he has no connection to the university and by the time he will get used to things, maybe a new V-C will come. Both Shevgaonkar and his predecessor Narendra Jadhav said in their farewell speeches that by the time they got used to university matters and understood things, they moved on. How long will this take place?" said a senior member of the Senate.

A debate has started in circles of senior UoP officials over the need for a pro-V-C, a post which has been vacant for too long and could be the answer to the university's predicament of running without a proper head.
"The appointment of a V-C takes almost six months. For the in-between period, an outsider is brought in as acting V-C, but he does not know many things and takes months to learn. The working of university suffers because of this. The University Act allows for a pro-V-C, but he isn't appointed as V-C feels he will have to share his powers. But it is absolutely essential to have a back-up," said Nandkumar Nikam, senior senate member.

The last pro-V-C Dr Arun Adsool explained that the post of pro-V-C is co-terminus, if V-C resigns then pro-V-C would have to resign. "If there is a crisis such as leadership, the chancellor of university, Governor of State can decide to appoint pro-V-C. This is important as then there would be someone who knows everything about the working of the university," said Nikam.

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