Following a 10-hour meeting on Saturday, the Management Council of Mumbai University (MU) finally recommended that the suspension of professor Dr Neeraj Hatekar be revoked in the interest of students. The Vice Chancellor of MU has also set up a one-member fact-finding committee to look into the 16 point allegations raised by Hatekar.
According to an official statement issued by MU on Sunday, the varsity authorities put forth the facts and documentary evidence before the council during the meeting. After going through the facts, the council members were of the opinion that there is no truth in Hatekar’s allegations.
The press release stated: “The MC during the meeting also resolved that the decision taken on December 20 by the council members and action by VC to suspend him (Hatekar) was appropriate and according to the rule. However, taking into consideration the larger interest of the university and welfare of student committee, the MC recommended that the suspension of Hatekar should be revoked.”
According to the statement, the VC will now act upon the resolution taken by the council. “The MC also recommended that a departmental inquiry should be initiated against Hatekar by former High Court judge D G deshpande. Hatekar should be given opportunity to present his views and be provided natural justice and the inquiry must be completed in a time bound manner,” the release said.
In the past, Hatekar had raised questions about the validity of Dr Rajan Welukar’s appointment as the varsity’s vice-chancellor. It was alleged that Welukar had submitted misleading documents claiming them as his research papers, and also wrongly stated his experience in the teaching profession.
In a press conference held on December 12, as part of a group called Joint Action Committee for Improvement of Higher Education, Hatekar had levelled allegations of mismanagement by the varsity administration such as failure to collect its share of annual student fees from colleges, several co-opted members on the boards of studies not being qualified, unusable lecture halls, malpractices in conduct of examinations and dilution of the qualifications for being a PhD guide.
During a meeting of the varsity’s MC on December 20, members took up Hatekar’s matter though it was not in the meeting agenda. However, one of the members of the MC, professor Madhu Paranjape, opposed the decision. However, the decision to suspend Hatekar was taken by the VC. As a result, Hatekar was suspended on January 4.
The university and it’s authorities have been facing several protests by students and faculty members since Hatekar’s suspension. However, a management council meeting to discuss the issue was held only after the Maharashtra Governor on Thursday last asked the VC to resolve the matter raised after Hatekar’s suspension amicably and at the earliest.