Attempting to get rid of the skeletons in its closet, the University of Pune (UoP) will take measures to settle pending matters weighing down the institution on February 5.
University of Pune
A year since various committee reports were submitted to the varsity, the reports on the three big scams pertaining to the exam department and a liquor party held in campus before will haunt the varsity administration.
Vice-chancellor Dr W N Gade
While the management council is dissatisfied for not receiving any of the major reports by the fact-finding committees appointed by UoP in the last two years, the panel of experts appointed to one such committee asserted that the action taken by the varsity administration is not sufficient. The panel believes that there is still scope to get to the bottom of the problem and catch the main culprits involved in exam department scams.
ACP (Retd) Sharad Avasthi, chairman of the three-member committee investigating the re-evaluation scam, said, “Based on my committee’s report, the varsity had registered a police complaint. But that time too I reiterated that a closer look must be taken to understand the gravity of the matter, which should be investigated by a state-level agency. It is out of the reach of local police. But this has not take place.” This report was submitted to the vice-chancellor (VC), Dr W N Gade, in December 2012.
The Avasthi committee report had clearly stated that manipulation of marks was easily possible at the varsity’s exam department. Police had arrested a total of seven people, including three clerks involved in the racket, after the committee submitted its report. According to Avasthi, this is just a tip of the iceberg.
“By lodging a police complaint, the varsity had just started digging into the matter. But the actual mining has still not been done. There may be many vested interests involved in executing such scams transactions dealing in crores of rupees and it has to be thoroughly investigated by competent state level authority,” Avasthi told.
Marks increased by three Iranian pharmacy students by making changes in the official ledgers, was another scam that hit varsity exam department in 2011. The fact-finding committee appointed under chairmanship of Dr Sanjeev Sonavne had submitted the report.
“The report has been tabled before the management council meeting held last Wednesday. The Controller of Examinations (CoE) has given the progress of the investigations. You can get additional details from her,” Sonavne said, who is a management council member and head of the Education department.
Another report expected to come out on February 5 is the increase in marks of a Commerce student in exchange for money. The committee report regarding the liquor party held in campus of UoP in January 2013 also to be discussed in management council meeting which has been investigated under the leadership of Bal Saraf, senate member, UoP.
“According to Section 28 of the State University Act, which describes the duties and powers of the management council, it is mandatory for the university administration to present all major reports to the management council. All these reports had been submitted at least a year back but have still not been presented before us. Ideally it is expected that all reports should first be discussed amongst the management council before fixing course of action. Finally all the reports will be expected to appear in the February 5 meeting,” a senior management council member said on the condition of anonymity.
When contacted VC, Dr W N Gade, UoP, said, “On the recommendation of some members, all the reports are going to be tabled before the management council. In each case, the appropriate action had been taken according to recommendation of the concerned committee reports.”
Speaking about further investigations in the Avasthi committee report, the vice-chancellor said, “After receiving the report, the varsity immediately lodged a police complaint. If Avasthi felt that additional steps were required to unveil some untouched aspects, he should have come up with his demand at that time only. If someone still feels further investigation required in the matter, I would not have any objections to it.”