Pune varsity does volte-face, to continue with external system
Days after it kept repeating that it would limit the external admission system, the University of Pune (UoP) did a U-turn by scrapping all the proposed changes recommended by the Nandkumar Nikam Committee to restrict admissions for in-house students of the varsity. Vice-Chancellor Dr W N Gade said the external system would remain untouched.
“The management council has unanimously taken a decision to keep external system as it is,” Gade said during a press conference yesterday.
When asked what about the assurance given to the media on Tuesday that the varsity would not succumb to any kind of pressures tactics and remain firm on its stand to restrict external admissions, Gade said, “The management council is the highest governing body (for UoP) and the decision was taken unanimously.
Though various options were discussed in the last few days, the UoP never took the decision to scrap the system.” The controversy erupted after the specially appointed Nikam committee, by the UoP recommended changes in the existing external admissions system. It recommended the varsity to specifically reserve the external system for students from other universities wanting to pursue higher education at the UoP.
In a startling revelation made by Gade, he informed that the exiting system could become a major problem if someone moves court questioning its
legality. “All other public universities in the state have already scrapped the external system by introducing distance education system. The external system, which UoP has been using for the last several years, has no mention in the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994,” Gade said.
“The UoP had decided to initiate procedure for setting up a distance education cell on its campus. Once this happens, the external system will be replaced with distance education.”
Explaining the changes incorporated in the external system, Gade told henceforth the external students would get dedicated study material. “Special academic programme will be developed for external students.
I assure you that such students who have registered for the current academic year will receive the study material in December,” he said. Nandkumar Nikam, who until Tuesday, was firm on his recommendation of scrapping the admissions said, “I agree with the decision taken by the management council.”
Of the 22 members, 18 were present for yesterday’s management council meeting that was called specially to finalise the fate of external system. For the past several days, the UoP had been severely criticised for its proposed decision to phase out external system. The varsity allows external admissions for Arts and Commerce for both graduation and PG courses.