Teachers’ union writes to V-C alleging irregularities, official dismisses charges
Rajabai Tower, which houses the centre, on the varsity’s south Mumbai campus. File pic/Ashish Raje
Mumbai University and the College Teachers Association (MUCTA) have written to the vice-chancellor of Mumbai University (MU) terming the appointment of the director of the varsity’s Knowledge Resource Centre (KRC), Nandkishor Motewar, in 2021 illegal.
The teachers' union has requested that action be initiated and is preparing to write to the governor and has vowed to file a lawsuit if nothing is done.
The procedure for the appointment of an officer of the university is described under Section 105 of the Maharashtra Public University Act, 2016. However, members of MUCTA have alleged the appointment was made in violation of this section and the criteria mentioned in the advertisement published for the post.
In its letter, MUCTA stated that when Motewar was selected, he was working with Gondwana University in Gadchiroli as the KRC director. According to the procedure in advertising, candidates were expected to forward the application through the proper channel (that is through their previous/current employer along with an NOC).
“The information under RTI revealed that the application submitted for scrutiny was not forwarded through the proper channel but individually and the NOC was not attached. Whereas an RTI reply from Gondwana University revealed that the NOC was provided but much later, after the committee scrutinised the application and the candidate was declared eligible without an NOC,” said Subhash Athavle, general secretary, MUCTA.
MUCTA also alleged that the report of the committee indicates that the NOC was not attached but the committee overlooked the rules and advertisement criteria and made the candidature eligible.
It also claimed that candidates’ academic performance indicator (API) was not scrutinised.
“In the RTI, plagiarism reports for the purpose of 400 pages of API were asked but MU replied that the university does not take plagiarism reports. This amounts to a violation of UGC guidelines. We even asked for a marking system, but they said no marking was done for the candidate, it is shocking as marking/scores are done for the appointment of an assistant professor too. So why wasn’t the provision for the appointment of the KRC director followed? We want a hearing on the matter with the governor and chancellor of state universities,” Athavle said.
Motewar took charge as director on December 8, 2021.
When contacted, he said, "The appointment was made according to rules and regulations stipulated under the Maharashtra Public University Act 2016 and University Grants Commission (UGC). I worked at Gondwana University for two years as the KRC director before this. I applied for the post here and was selected as anybody would. I had submitted NOC too.
The allegations are baseless and irrelevant. Let them complain wherever they want to; they are free to do so. I have submitted all the required documents and followed all procedures and am not at fault.”