Idle Rs 25-cr centre yet another low for MU

Updated: Feb 13, 2020, 07:28 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

Why, for instance is this centre not functional? Is it because of a lack of teachers, or simply that University officials will take some time to set up the courses?

The Bal Apte Centre for Studies was set up following the recommendation of former education minister Vinod Tawde. File pic
The Bal Apte Centre for Studies was set up following the recommendation of former education minister Vinod Tawde. File pic

The Mumbai University's Bal Apte Centre for Studies, named after the late Rajya Sabha MP from BJP and an RSS ideologue, has been embroiled in controversy three years after it was formed. It was set up after being granted a sanction of R25 crore. Students are pointing out that there has been no activity here.

A report in this paper said that the centre itself was defunct for all practical purposes. Its objectives, which were to offer different courses from short-term and certificate, to Masters and PhD-level programmes on career planning, youth leadership and empowerment, have not fructified.

The University did not respond to queries regarding the allegations in the report. Yet, it is time for those in charge to set up the courses this centre is meant for and get it functioning. If this is impossible for whatever reason, funds have to move to areas where they are needed. Right now, this seems to be a criminal waste of funds so questions need to be asked by the right people, and more importantly, answers have to be given.

Why, for instance is this centre not functional? Is it because of a lack of teachers, or simply that University officials will take some time to set up the courses?

One does understand students' frustration, when they see that their demands for more hostel accommodation are not met because there is a so-called shortage of funds, and a non-functioning centre gets an enormous grant. Though the R25 crore is from the State and not the University, the amount is huge and there is no justification for the wastage. The varsity must put it to good use or think of another purpose for the centre.

Mumbai University, which was once considered among the most prestigious, has seen its star dimmed over time. Problems like this one certainly do not help in reversing that situation.

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