Understaffed University of Pune unable to keep tabs on foreign students
Varsity's International Centre, responsible for coordinating with foreigners studying here, has had key posts lying vacant for many years; police probe shows that most of the students who bribed UoP officials are from outside the country
The International Centre (IC) at University of Pune (UoP) had fallen off everyone’s radar — including varsity officials’ —years ago, and the situation would have remained unchanged but for the recent unravelling of the re-evaluation scam.
Police investigations so far point towards direct involvement of foreign students from various UoP-affiliated colleges. And it appears the utter neglect of the IC — the centre doesn’t have a full-time director since the past few months and posts of two senior-level officials have been lying vacant for several years — has greased the wheels of corruption.
The IC is expected to keep track of all foreign students pursuing courses with the university or its affiliated colleges.
However, officiating director of IC Dr Vijay Khare said the centre is only responsible for gauging their eligibility, and verification of addresses in
the city is the job of the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO).
Apart from a permanent director, the centre requires a deputy registrar (DR) and a section officer (SO) for efficient administration. These posts are currently vacant.
The centre has a clerk and an assistant section officer (ASO), but they have been working on contractual basis for many years.
UoP vice-chancellor Dr WN Gade said, “The posts in the IC — including that of the director — are not approved by the state government and it doesn’t bear their salaries. That is why we are finding it difficult to fill up the vacancies.”
Asked what efforts the varsity is making to resolve the predicament, Gade replied, “We are facing a similar problem in a few other departments too. We are planning to put our side comprehensively before the government and I am hopeful of positive results.”
The V-C added that despite all the vexations, UoP would soon produce an advertisement to fill up all the vacancies lying vacant in the IC.
The police probe has already established that most of the 21 students who bribed university officials to get more marks in the exams (3 clerks arrested, cops suspect bigger racket’, Jan 9) are foreign nationals.
Till now, the cops have only nabbed three students from Oman, while the others remain untraceable.
When asked what procedure IC follows before admitting foreign students, Dr Khare replied, “We verify their nationality and whether or not the universities, which they represent, are recognised by their countries’ governments. Following corroboration, we give these persons provisional admission. Afterwards, it’s the responsibility of FRO to track their residential addresses in the city. We don’t have a mechanism to do that.”