UoP to drop 79 colleges off its list

Audit by special committee reveals these institutes lack officially appointed professors and principals

President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to skip the 100th convocation ceremony of the University of Nagpur in November 2013 sent tremors across the University of Pune (UoP), resulting in action against 79 affiliated colleges, where principals and professors were not appointed officially.

Setting things right: University of Pune is set to snap ties with the tainted colleges. File Pic

Mukherjee cancelled his visit to the Nagpur varsity after it came to the fore that several of its affiliated colleges had hired principals and professors without following the norms.

“A couple of weeks prior to the convocation, the president received a letter alleging that several colleges under the varsity’s jurisdiction were being operated illegally.

The president’s office conducted investigation, wherein the allegations made in the letter turned out to be true. This resulted cancellation of his visit to the Nagpur university to attend its 100th convocation ceremony,” said a top academician, part of various education committees of government.

Screws tightened
However, the matter did not end there. Based on this discovery, the president’s office directed education ministers of all the states to furnish details of colleges that lack officially approved teachers and principals.

“Soon after the directives were issued, higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope met all the Vice-Chancellors of various universities in the state in Mumbai two months ago and asked them to take appropriate action against such colleges. Hence, the UoP started its investigation and short-listed 79 such colleges under its jurisdiction that had unapproved principals of professors,” he said.

To be dumped
When contacted, UoP Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade confirmed the developments. But cleared that the varsity had been conducting the exercise since 2013, prior to Nagpur varsity incident.

“UoP is auditing its affiliated colleges since 2013. So it is not that we swung into action after the Nagpur incident. During our meeting with the education minister, I gave a detailed presentation on UoP affiliated colleges that lacked approved professors and principals,” he said.

When asked about the action UoP was contemplating against the 79 colleges, Gade told that the varsity would be revoking its affiliation with these institutes. Meanwhile, sources claimed that the UOP is simultaneously conducting a couple of audits to decide the future of these colleges. And though the V-C mentioned about the academic audit, the names of all 79 colleges came to the fore during an exam audit that was conducted a couple of months ago.

‘Working in phases’
Dr V B Gaikwad, director for Board of College and University Development, said, “We have been conducting an academic audit since July 2013. In the first phase, we are reviewing post-graduate (PG) centres.

Till date, 272 centres of 522 have submitted self-assessment report. Only after authenticating these reports we can come to any conclusion and exact the number of colleges flouting norms. In the next phase, we will include degree colleges.”

He said the list of 79 colleges in question was prepared through a separate audit conducted by a special committee.
Despite repeated attempts to contact him, Nagpur varisty Vice-Chancellor, Dr Vilas Sapkal, remained unavailable for comment.

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