One would imagine that a 97-year-old institution with 22 departments that imparts education in the Commerce stream, among others, would be proficient with numbers. But city-based Sir Parshurambhau (SP) College has clearly failed to satisfy the authorities in this regard. For, though the institute has 1,440 seats for class XI, startlingly a total of 1,630 admissions were granted for the academic year 2012-13. Deputy Director of Education (Pune division) Suman Shinde issued a show-cause notice (MiD DAY has a copy) to the principal yesterday, seeking a reply within ten days.
"For Arts stream the college has a total of 240 approved seats. But in the academic year 2012-13, it has given drafted 345 students i.e. 105 additional admissions. In Science stream even though the maximum strength is 720, the college has admitted 739 students i.e. 19 extra admissions. In Commerce stream the college has inducted 546 students when it can only fill 480 seats, i.e. 66 additional admissions," the notice says.
It further states, "It has been verified that while giving these 'additional' admissions the college had not taken permission of this office (Deputy Director-Education) and also not followed the norms of reservation. ST, NT-C, NT-D and OBC admissions have not been carried out properly and there are many flaws in admissions of reserved category students."
On being contacted by MiD DAY, Shinde said, "The course of action will be decided only after receiving the reply from the college. We have granted a 10-day period and if they do not respond within that time, legal action would be initiated."
While Shinde wasn't willing to say more, allegations are flying in thick and fast from other quarters. Prof Pravin Ransure, a member of the group Dalit Comrade, and Prof Harsh Gaikwad of Dr Ambedkar Teachers' Association say they have been tracking this issue since class XI admissions at SP College last year.
"This is a clear case of corruption. The college was charging large sums as donation from each student for Science admissions and a slightly smaller amount for Commerce and Arts streams," alleged Ransure, adding that he had even informed the Anti-Corruption Bureau about the issue.
"The college had violated norms and inducted even those students whose names had not appeared in the centralised admission list. That's why the deputy director has issued the notice to the institute," maintained Gaikwad.
The other side
SP College principal Dr Dileep Sheth denied that there were any irregularities in class XI admissions. "Till now I have not received any such notice from deputy directorate office," he said. When told that we have the copy of that notice he replied, "If that is so I will go through it tomorrow."