Education sector on wrong foot
The year 2012 witnessed some untoward happenings in the education sector, from the controversial selection of the UoP's current vice-chancellor to the mysterious fall of a Std X girl in Rosary school.
Here are a few of the unpleasant occurrences.
Jan to May
Legal battle over V-C's appointment
The University of Pune (UoP) was in the news for all the wrong reasons in first half of 2012. It all started after its former Vice Chancellor (V-C) Dr Raghunath Shevgaokar resigned in just 18 months after he was offered the director’s position at IIT-Delhi in September 2011. Foloowing Shevgaokar’s resignation, the state initiated the process to appoint a new V-C and formed three-member committee.
But in January, the whole process came to a standstill as a PIL was filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the constitution of the three-member search committee by the state. The petitioner, Thane based activist Suresh Patil-Khede rasied an objection to the absence of representative of the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the committee, which he said was against the rules. The court hearing costed almost five months and on May 12 the high court dismissed the petition. Finally, Dr Wasudev Gade has appointed as 19th V-C of the UoP on May 16 after the post remained for almost eight months.
UoP guard shot
Murder of an on-duty security guard raised serious doubts over the security system on the UoP's campus. While patrolling the campus on the night of May 3, security guard Pralhad Jogdandkar caught a couple in a compromising position near the bushes at the varsity's main gate. After a verbal dual, the boy shot Jogdandkar and the couple fled the spot. It has been over eight months and police officials are yet to crack the case.
Though the incident happened near the main gate and the accused managed escape through it, the CCTV cameras installed at the gate failed to capture any footage as they were not at all in working condition. Soon after the incident, the police and the UoP officials played the blame game for a few days.
Ragging incident at MIT Junior College
A Std XI student of MIT Junior College has allegedly ragged by three of her female classmates for fifteen days in August 2012. This traumatised the victim to such an extent that she was hospitalised.
Fearing for their daughter's future, the victim's parents cancelled her admission. The girl's father had complained in writing to college principal, demanding stringent action against the culprits. And though the college had constituted a seven-members committee to investigate the matter, no action has been taken till date.
Mystery fall at Rosary
In another shocking case, a Std X student of Rosary school fell off the third floor of the school building during recess on September 13. Though the then deputy director of the education Bhimrao Fadtare initiated an inquiry into the matter, no action was imitated against the school. The reason for girl's fall remains unknown. The victim underwent multiple surgeries.
The year 2012 exposed how fragile the Examination department was after a major re-evaluation scam rocked the UoP in October. Though the scam originated in Poona College, wherein dummy students had appeared for certain exams, the links of the scam were traced to three clerks of the examination department - Ramesh Shelar, Ashok Ranawade and Chetan Parbhane.
A police complaint was registered against the trio for allegedly increasing marks during re-evaluation in exchange for money. Soon after police officials informed the UoP about the involvement of its staffers in the re-evaluation scam, the UoP appointed a three-member fact-finding committee in the first week of October. But the committee took two months to submit its report. The case remains unsolved and the accused, reportedly, have gone missing since their suspension.