Welukar Abstained from Attending Duties

Welukar Abstained from Attending Duties

In a major setback to Mumbai University Vice-Chancellor Rajan Welukar, a few months before his retirement, Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao has directed him to abstain from attending the office and discharging his duties as the VC with immediate effect.

"Pro Vice Chancellor of the University Prof Naresh Chandra has been asked to act as the officiating Vice Chancellor of the University until further orders," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said here today.

The Governor, who is the Chancellor of Universities in the state, has taken the decision in the backdrop of orders passed by the Bombay High Court while hearing the petitions challenging Welukar's essential eligibility qualification and considering the fact that the court has directed a Search Committee to reconsider the question of Welukar's eligibility  for the post of Vice Chancellor, the spokesperson said.

One of the criteria for being short- listed for the post of VC is to have a minimum of five research publications after PhD in international peer reviewed journals ( reference journals for studies in higher education).. This was the subject matter of the PILs challenging Welukar's appointment.

Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray welcomed the decision to remove Welukar.

"So finally the Governor asks MU VC to step aside. This is a big relief to students. Nothing personal, but we've countered him for bad administration," he tweeted.

"Yuva Sena has constantly tackled the outgoing VC's bad admin and corruption, giving justice to students and staff against gross misrule," he said.

"I remember those times when the then Governor Sankarnaryanan ji had to personally intervene on my request to set things right, two years ago," he said. 

"The reforms at the university must only begin now with this change. An administrator is needed as the Vice Chancellor to set things right," he said.

Thackeray added, "Only last month did Shiv Sena MLAs asked the Education Minister to sack the VC. He had promised an enquiry on the HC observations on VC."

This situation could have been avoided had there been no political interference in the VC's appointment, state Education Minister Vinod Tawde said.

"I had informed the feelings of public representatives on the appointment of Welukar to the Governor," the minister added.

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