University of Mumbai VC Rajan Welukar asked to resume work

Mar 05, 2015, 22:48 IST | IANS

Mumbai: Exactly two weeks after asking University of Mumbai Vice-Chancellor Rajan Welukar to "abstain" from duties, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao Thursday asked him to resume work.

The governor's decision follows a ruling by the Supreme Court on February 27, an official said.

On February 19, Welukar had been relieved of his charge pursuant to a bunch of petitions filed in the Bombay High Court challenging his eligibility for the post.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Naresh Chandra was directed to officiate till further orders.

On February 11, a division bench of the high court directed the governor to form a search committee to reconsider Welukar's eligibility within two weeks.

The court had referred to the December 11, 2014 order of another division bench comprising Justice P.V. Hardas and Justice Anuja Prabhu Desai which held that the decision of the search committee to include the name of Rajan Walukar in the list of eligible candidates for the post of VC suffered from "non-application of mind" vis-a-vis essential eligibility conditions.

While ordering Welukar to abstain from duties, the governor - who is the chancellor of the university - observed that since the issue of Welukar's eligibility was being reconsidered, it would not be appropriate for him to continue in the post "in the interest of the university, as well as propriety."

Welukar filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court challenging the high court order after which the apex court granted an interim stay in the matter.

Accordingly, Rao Thursday asked Welukar to resume his duties as vice-chancellor of the university, barely two months before his regular five-year tenure ends in May 2015.

One of the petitioners challenging Welukar's appointment has claimed that he was not a good academic as he had secured second class in his M.Phil examination, his appointment was ad hoc and he did not qualify to be a teacher under the University Act, besides his appointment as teacher was made in September 1985 and not 1983, so he did not posses the minimum teaching experience.

Other issues like having minimum five research publications after Ph.D in international peer-reviewed journals which should be reference for studies in higher education as one of the criteria for being considered for the post of VC is also a subject matter challenging Welukar's appointment to the post.

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