After the removal of Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh, operating without a full-time VC may not be the only challenge before the University of Mumbai, which is yet to establish functional governing bodies. The process for setting up the senate, academic council, management council, boards of studies, board of examination, research and recognition committee, is yet to start even as the November 30 deadline approaches fast.
As per the new Maharashtra Public Universities Act, these bodies will have nominated as well as elected members appointed to them. Currently, the university is functioning with ad hoc bodies since the state government dissolved all governing bodies of universities in August 2015.
The university had kick-started the process for appointing new governing bodies on June 1, 2017, when registrations for the election processes began. University graduates could register themselves for the elections between June 1 and 30. Teachers, principals and management representatives could register between June 5 and July 4. A final electoral list was to be declared on July 25 and elections were likely in August.
However, the results mess following the on-screen assessment took priority and the election process was stalled. An official from the electoral committee told The Indian Express that the process for conducting elections is yet to start and the November 30 deadline may not be achieved.
“It will take at least 45 days to complete the formalities and conduct the elections. These elected members can then be appointed to the governing bodies but this does not seem possible before November 30,” said the official.
The absence of a full-time Vice-Chancellor or Registrar has only added to the woes as officials said the delay in the elections had been on account of the confusion over senior management positions. “Most of the senior positions are occupied by acting officials. There is an uncertainty in the decision-making,” he said.
However, officials from the state higher and technical education department confirmed that no requests for extension of dates had been received from the university so far adding that extension was unlikely.
Meanwhile, the university continues operations with ad-hoc bodies. Currently, the positions of Vice Chancellor, pro-Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Director of Board of Examinations and Evaluation are not occupied by full-time appointees. The appointment of new V-C is likely to take two months and in the meantime acting V-C Devanand Shinde will be vested with the powers to nominate members to the governing bodies.