If the recent event is the yardstick used to measure efficacy of the University of Pune’s Registrar Dr Narendra Kadu, then it appears that he is not up to the mark. Just 10 ago, the UoP witnessed a flash strike called by the non-teaching staff during which they tried to block exam-related transportation. Had the protesters succeeded, it would have taken its toll on the BEd examination scheduled for the next day.
Thanks to presence of mind exhibited by education department head Dr Sanjeev Sonavne, who transported exam barcodes and other exam-related material in his private car, the day was saved. But what surprised the varsity officials was the absence of Kadu, the administrative head of the UoP, during the hour of crisis. Officials claimed that none of them were able to get through him as his cellphone was switched off. Surprisingly, Kadu’s phone remained switched off even during working hours.
When contacted, UoP Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade said, “I will definitely ask him (Dr Kadu) to remain available on his cellphone.” Despite undergoing treatment and being asked by the doctors to cut down on the workload, Gade answers call on his personal number even at odd hours. “Dr Kadu is not only unavailable on his personal number, but is even reluctant in taking necessary action. During a recent protest, wherein the employees suddenly declared bandh, the registrar failed to even issue show-cause notices to the members of the employee unions who called for the strike,” a senior professor from the varsity, requesting anonymity, said.
Dr Gajanan Ekbote, senior senate member of the UoP and executive president of Progressive Education Society, shared a similar experience. “As an administrative head, the registrar is expected to be alert and remain available on his personal number 24x7. But Dr Kadu has not only switched off his cellphone, but hasn’t even replied to the messages left at his office. I have experienced this twice in the past,” Ekbote said.
Material uploaded on the UoP website clearly defines a registrar’s role — the registrar shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the university. He shall be a full-time salaried officer and shall work directly under the superintendence, direction and control of the Vice-Chancellor.
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